Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 23, 2008
Early parents didn't stand for weighty kids
Scientists investigating the reasons why early humans -- the so-called hominins -- began walking upright say it's unlikely that the need to carry children was a factor, as has previously been suggested.

Mitochondrial dysfunction and redox signaling in atrial tachyarrhythmia
Researchers at the University Hospital of Magdeburg (Germany) have discovered that atrial tachycardia is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress followed by the activation of the NF-kB signalling pathway with induction of NF-kB target gene expression in atrial tissue.

$450,000 sweetener in colon cancer battle
UK-based Association for International Cancer Research this week announced it will fund a Griffith University project led by Dr.

Researchers link master regulator of innate immunity to the hypoxic response
In a new study published in the advanced online edition of the journal Nature on April 23, researchers at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine reveal that a single protein is essential to both responses.

Discovery to hasten new malaria treatments, vaccines for children
April 25 is World Malaria Day 2008 and despite the grim statistics out of Africa there's cause for celebration.

Menstrual blood -- a valuable source of multipotential stem cells?
Researchers suggest that stromal cells derived from menstrual blood may represent a potentially unlimited, ethically unencumbered, easily collectable and inexpensive source of stem cells for use in regenerative medicine.

Kansas City builder creates Health Home
Just in time for peak allergy and asthma season, Kansas City's H&S Covenant Homes opens a state-of-the-art, model home designed specifically for asthma and allergy sufferers.

Arctic marine mammals on thin ice
The loss of sea ice due to climate change could spell disaster for polar bears and other Arctic marine mammals.

Study finds that competency in colonoscopy requires experience with 150 cases or more
Researchers from Korea have found that technically efficient screening and diagnostic colonoscopy generally requires experience with 150 cases or more.

May 2008 GEOLOGY media highlights
Topics include high-resolution lunar images related to the Orientale impact; possible methane release event at the icehouse-greenhouse transition 635 million years ago; evidence of oil smoke in sediment from the K-P boundary dinosaur extinction; Greenland Ice Sheet's sensitivity to global warming; what the San Andreas fault-area landscape reveals about earthquakes; a new record of greenhouse warming from central Utah; evidence of a possible glacial land system on Mars; and a sea-level climate change fingerprint.

Researchers discover gene for branchio-oculo-facial syndrome
In a collaborative effort, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have discovered that deletions or mutations within the TFAP2A gene result in the distinctive clefting disorder Branchio-Oculo-Facial syndrome.

Praise equals money?
Why are we nice to others? One answer provided by social psychologists is because it pays off.

African farmers gaining access to disease-resistant, 'upland' rice varieties
As concern builds around the impact of rising food prices and new restrictions on rice exports from Asian countries hit by adverse climate conditions, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa announced today that African rice breeders have made critical steps towards ensuring self-sufficiency and boosting African rice production.

Energy Crossroads conference April 30 and May 1 at Stanford University
A conference devoted to exploring ways to broaden the use of clean, sustainable energy will take place April 30 and May 1 at Stanford University.

Heart derived stem cells develop into heart muscle
Dutch researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht and the Hubrecht Institute have succeeded in growing large numbers of stem cells from adult human hearts into new heart muscle cells.

First draft of transgenic papaya genome yields many fruits
Researchers have produced a first draft of the papaya genome.

Breast reconstruction advances fix distortions left by lumpectomy
Lumpectomy or breast conservation surgery is the most common type of breast cancer surgery currently performed.

First-class protein crystals thanks to weightlessness on earth
Dutch chemist Paul Poodt has developed two attractive alternatives for allowing protein crystals to grow under weightless conditions.

Sexual harassment at school -- more harmful than bullying
Schools' current focus on bullying prevention may be masking the serious and underestimated health consequences of sexual harassment, according to James Gruber from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Susan Fineran from the University of Southern Maine in the US.

Presence of certain antibodies signals healthier teeth and gums
Antibodies present in people with good oral health could become the first tool for dental professionals to assess a patient's probable response to periodontal disease treatments, say researchers at the University of Michigan.

Outstanding German-Polish scientific cooperation
A chemist from Munich and a physicist from Warsaw were selected to receive the Copernicus Award by the DFG and the FNP.

Integration: A centuries-old issue
When can a person be regarded as a full and equal citizen of a country?

Pregnancy is possible after cancer treatment
It has been reported for the first time in Germany that healthy ovarian tissue has been taken from a nonpregnant woman with cancer and then reimplanted after cancer therapy.

Insects use plant like a telephone
Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones.

Optimal online communication
Dutch researcher Peter Korteweg has developed algorithms for wireless networks.

Book focuses on how people of color, women use Internet, digital media
Scholars who study visual culture on the Internet always see more than meets the eye, but one professor has widened her scope even more, trying to adjust the ways the rest of us look at race and gender on the Web -- and off.

Sierra Nevada rose to current height earlier than thought, say Stanford geologists
Stanford geologists studying deposits of volcanic glass in the western United States have found that the central Sierra Nevada largely attained its present elevation 12 million years ago, roughly 8 or 9 million years earlier than commonly thought.

Seniors, minorities to have largest impact on tomorrow's America
The demographic patterns of older Americans and certain ethnic groups will have greater effects on the country's socioeconomic outlook than previously thought, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report.

Could blood transfusions cause harm?
Over the past decade a number of studies have found that, rather than saving lives, blood transfusions can actually harm patients.

Variety is the spice of life: too many males, too little time ...
Female Australian painted dragon lizards are polyandrous, that is, they mate with as many males as they can safely get access to.

ENDO 08: Latest news on hormones, steroids, obesity, diabetes and more
The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting -- ENDO 08 -- will be held at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Calif., June 15-18, 2008.

FDA approves VYVANSE, first and only once-daily prodrug stimulant to treat ADHD in adults
Shire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, today announced the US Food and Drug Administration has approved VYVANSE for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults.

A CluE in the search for data-intensive computing
The Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate at the National Science Foundation released a solicitation for proposals for the new Cluster Exploratory initiative.

Reputation and money: New insights into how the brain processes social, economic reward
Researchers have mapped the brain regions that process social standing and money rewards, yielding new insights that they said will aid understanding of the basis of social behaviors.

Catching a glimpse of a black hole's fury
Using the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array and a host of international telescope partners, a team of researchers has made the clearest observation yet of innermost region of a black hole.

Annual trachoma treatment may be unnecessary if treatment coverage high
One or two rounds of high coverage mass treatment with azithromycin, rather than the annual treatment recommended by the World Health Organization, may be enough to eliminate the eye disease trachoma in communities with moderate levels of infection.

Researchers reveal structure of protein that repairs damage to cancer cells
A team of University of Chicago scientists has shown how two proteins locate and repair damaged genetic material inside cells.

Eliminating germline lengthens fly lifespan, Brown study shows
Brown University biologists have found that eliminating germline stem cells, the cells that make eggs and sperm, lengthens the life of fruit flies and alters insulin production.

Rutgers team awarded Federal Highway Administration contract worth up to $25.5M
The Federal Highway Administration has awarded the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, as prime contractor, a competitive five-year contract worth up to $25.5 million for the FHWA Long-Term Bridge Performance program.

Researchers identify new cell targets for preventing growth of breast and other tumors
Researchers at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered new targets for cancer treatment aimed at blocking a key step in tumor progression.

Mechanisms of memory identified
By blocking certain mechanisms that control the way that nerve cells in the brain communicate, scientists from the University of Bristol have been able to prevent visual recognition memory in rats.

Medical College researchers find dinosaur clues in fat
A team of researchers at New York Medical College has discovered why birds, unlike mammals, lack a tissue that is specialized to generate heat.

New source for biofuels discovered
A newly created microbe produces cellulose that can be turned into ethanol and other biofuels, report scientists from the University of Texas at Austin who say the microbe could provide a significant portion of the nation's transportation fuel if production can be scaled up.

How your mother's emotional legacy impacts your life
Author and clinical psychologist Stephan B. Poulter stresses that whether we acknowledge it or not, our mothers leave an indelible impression on the persons we become in

Radio telescope reveals secrets of massive black hole
At the cores of many galaxies, supermassive black holes expel powerful jets of particles at nearly the speed of light.

Nanotubes grown straight in large numbers
Duke University chemists have found a way to grow long, straight cylinders only a few atoms thick in very large numbers, removing a major roadblock in the pursuit of nano-scale electronics.

Albania: Rising expectations drive growing health care needs
More than 4000 new cancer cases are diagnosed every year, and cancer wards and waiting rooms are full.

A new iconic drug information system inspired by road signs
Although drug prescriptions are notoriously difficult to read, prescribing errors due to a lack of knowledge of drug properties are a worse problem.

MIT-led teams unravel heparin death mystery
An international team of researchers led by MIT has explained how contaminated batches of the blood-thinner heparin were able to slip past traditional safety screens and kill dozens of patients recently in the United States and Germany.

Glaciers reveal Martian climate has been recently active
Brown University researchers have found compelling evidence of thick, recurring glaciers on Mars, a discovery that suggests that the Red Planet's climate was much more dynamic than previously believed -- and could change again.

Best practice for engineering science faculties
This DFG workshop presents international, exemplary management models.

DFG welcomes decision on stem cell research by German parliament
The president of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Professor Matthias Kleiner, commented on the decision by the German Federal Parliament on the Stem Cell Act.

Listening to the urinary stream
Benign prostate enlargement affects most of the elder men and often compresses the urethra resulting in voiding symptoms.

MU psychologists demonstrate simplicity of working memory
A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but humans may have even less to work with than previously thought.

Pretermers bounce back from pain with a cuddle
Research published today in the open access journal BMC Pediatrics suggests that very preterm babies, born between 28 and 31 weeks, could benefit from skin-to-skin cuddling with their mother before and during painful procedures such as a heel lance.

The spring in your step is more than just a good mood
Scientists using a bionic boot found that during walking, the ankle does about three times the work for the same amount of energy compared to isolated muscles -- in other words, the spring in your step is very real and helps us move efficiently.

Mining for dark matter
The LUX experiment will look for evidence of

Environment key early: Genes' role expands in alcohol dependence
The influence of genetics increases as young women transition from their first drink to alcohol dependence.

Researchers make new finding about how memory is stored
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine are the first to show that the location of protein-destroying

Domestic violence associated with chronic malnutrition in women and children in India
In a new, large-scale study exploring the link between domestic violence and chronic malnutrition, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found that Indian mothers and children experiencing multiple incidents of domestic violence in the previous year are more likely to be anemic and underweight.

UQ leads the way on complementary medicine research
The University of Queensland is leading the way on research into complementary medicines to make them part of mainstream medical use.

Human brain appears 'hard-wired' for hierarchy
Human imaging studies have for the first time identified brain circuitry associated with social status.

On the high horse: Why dominant individuals climb the proverbial ladder
Psychological findings imply that a person's level of dominance could be measured based on their biases favoring vertical representations of power, as is the case in a hierarchy.

Desalination and water supply
As some US regions face water shortages and growing contention over freshwater supplies, some communities are considering adding water through desalination -- removing salt either from seawater or the brackish groundwater that underlies large parts of the country.

Spouses as campaign surrogates
Spouses of presidential candidates are employed in campaigns more strategically and intensively than ever before.

Myocardial infarction: Mortality for women not higher than for men
The risk of dying in Germany of a myocardial infarction is not higher for women than for men.

Watch digital TV and films without disruptions thanks to mathematical model
Dutch researcher Alina Weffers-Albu has developed a method to calculate how a device can provide maximum functionality with a minimum quantity of processor and memory capacity.

UMass Medical School researchers awarded pediatric HIV vaccine development grant
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a world leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS, announced that it will award five grants totaling $1 million to researchers to support the development of a pediatric HIV vaccine.

Inventor's irrigation pumps help lift African farmers out of poverty
Dr. Martin Fisher is transforming the lives of thousands of poor African farmers through a combination of technological invention and system-wide business development.

BP funds scholarship for University of Houston to help fill industry ranks
A $750,000 grant from one of the world's largest energy companies, BP America, will help the University of Houston recruit and offer scholarships to students in engineering, sciences, mathematics and business.

1600 eruption caused global disruption
The 1600 eruption of Huaynaputina in Peru had a global impact on human society, according to a new study of contemporary records.

Every 5th adolescent smokes
As many as 20 percent of adolescents from 11 to 17 years of age smoke.
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