Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2008
Cancer researchers receive NIH grant to advance brain tumor therapies from lab to clinical trials
Cancer researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute will further develop novel treatments for brain tumors through a new, five-year, $6.24 million grant to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Galaxies gone wild!
Fifty-nine new images of colliding galaxies make up the largest collection of Hubble images ever released together.

Genetic sequencing of protein from T. rex bone confirms dinosaurs' link to birds
Scientists have put more meat on the theory that dinosaurs' closest living relatives are modern-day birds.

Researcher works with European Space Agency to test moisture satellite
An Iowa State University researcher is assisting the European Space Agency research soil moisture content.

Plethora of interacting galaxies on Hubble's birthday
Galaxy collisions produce a remarkable variety of intricate structures, as 59 new images from the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope show.

Stratospheric injections to counter global warming could damage ozone layer
A much-discussed idea to offset global warming by injecting sulfates into the stratosphere would drastically affect the ozone layer.

University of Alabama team earns HudsonAlpha Innovation Prize
For their groundbreaking research on diseases of the nervous system, especially in relation to Parkinson's disease, the husband and wife team of Drs.

American College of Medical Genetics makes genetic testing recommendations in new policy statement
Consumers are increasingly being marketed a broad range of genetic tests.

On shaky ground: UH Prof finds geological faults threaten Houston
After finding more than 300 surface faults in Harris County, a University of Houston geologist now has information that could be vitally useful to the region's builders and city planners.

Ozone hole recovery may reshape southern hemisphere climate change
A full recovery of the stratospheric ozone hole could modify climate change in the southern hemisphere and even amplify Antarctic warming, according to scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

Biofuels, farming subsidies and climate change must all be tackled to address food crisis
While customers at restaurants in New York City will soon be able to count the calories of their meals in an attempt to curb the obesity epidemic, people in New Delhi are currently counting the grains of their rice.

World Malaria Day: Ethiopia and Rwanda are leading lights
With the advent of World Malaria Day on April 25, malaria endemic countries and donors should be inspired by the achievements of Ethiopia and Rwanda in reducing malaria-related mortality.

Bird-flu pandemic: Broadly protective vaccines that can be rapidly produced are vital
Widespread vaccination will probably be the cornerstone of public-health measures for controlling an H5N1 bird-flu pandemic.

Elusive protein protects malaria parasite from heme
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have identified Heme Detoxification Protein, a unique protein encoded in the malaria genome that represents a potential target for developing new malaria drugs.

Brown scientists say biodiversity is crucial to ecosystem productivity
In the first experiment in a natural environment, Brown University scientists have shown that greater plant diversity significantly enhances an ecosystem's productivity.

What's in your soil?
The latest in modern soil mineralogical methods is now available from the Soil Science Society of America in their new monograph

Specialized white blood cells coordinate first responders to viral infection
Regulatory T cells are thought to call a halt to immune reponses as the fight against infection draws to a close.

Two suppressor molecules affect 70 genes in leukemia
By restoring two small molecules that are often lost in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, researchers were able to block tumor growth in an animal model.

Plan to identify watery Earth-like planets develops
Astronomers are looking to identify Earth-like watery worlds circling distant stars from a glint of light seen through an optical space telescope and a mathematical method developed by researchers at Penn State and the University of Hawaii.

Clinical monitoring as effective as CD4 count/viral load at advising switch to second line HIV ARVS
Monitoring of clinical events in patients on first line antiretroviral treatment in poor countries is almost as effective in terms of survival as using CD4 count or viral load measures at advising when to switch to second line ART.

AMPK signaling: Got food?
A team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies think they know how many -- if not most -- living organisms answer this question.

Metabolic genes tied to inflammatory predictor of heart disease and stroke risk
Two new studies provide evidence that differences in people's blood levels of C reactive protein stem in part from natural variation in known metabolic genes.

Yu Lab offers insight into how the nervous system processes sensory information
The Stowers Institute's Yu Lab has published the results of large-scale imaging experiments examining how social signals are represented in the sensory system.

Study breaks ground in revealing how neurons generate movement
When the eye tracks a bird's flight across the sky, the visual experience is normally smooth, without interruption.

National survey reveals 80 percent of Americans claim docs need better bedside manners
According to a new survey conducted by Kelton Research for the Arnold P.

Concrete examples don't help students learn math, study finds
A new study challenges the common practice in many classrooms of teaching mathematical concepts by using

Pathway found that lets mosquitoes fatten up, slow down for winter
Two genes that help insulin regulate mosquitoes' growth have been identified as key contributors to how the insects enter a dormant state to survive winter's cold.

Montana State researchers study spread of lake trout in Glacier National Park
Montana State University researchers make recommendations for fighting the spread of lake trout in Glacier National Park.

60 percent of world's heart disease in India by 2010 -- where it hits younger and has worse outcomes
Within two years, around 60 percent of the world's heart disease burden is expected to occur in India.

Smokers have a 41 percent higher risk of suffering depression
The risk of suffering depression increases 41 percent in smokers, in comparison with nonsmokers.

Austria declares intent to join ESO
At a press conference today at the University of Vienna's Observatory, the Austrian Science Minister Johannes Hahn announced the decision by the Austrian Government to seek membership of ESO from July 1 this year.

Scientists urged to make a stand on climate change
Scientists must work harder at making the public aware of the stark difference between good science and

Study finds racial disparities in smoking cessation treatment
A new study from the American Cancer Society finds black and Hispanic smokers are less likely than whites to receive and use smoking cessation advice and aids.

Proof that men and women activate stereotypes of competence and sociability respectively
The study may involve significant practical implications in the prevention of stereotypes and prejudices towards disadvantaged groups.

'Discovering Patterns in Mathematics and Poetry' invites readers to make surprising connections
What do Fibonacci Numbers, the Golden Ratio and poetry have in common?

Desalination can boost US water supplies, but environmental research needed
Recent advances in technology have made removing salt from seawater and groundwater a realistic option for increasing water supplies in some parts of the US, and desalination will likely have a niche in meeting the nation's future water needs, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Different processes govern sight, light detection
Biologists, in research with implications for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder and insomnia, have determined that the eye uses light to reset the biological clock through a mechanism separate from the ability to see.

NSF awards $1.5M for study of in-home health care via wireless networks
Rice University, the Methodist Hospital Research Institute and Technology For All have received a $1.5 million federal grant for research in east Houston that will examine ways to provide novel, low-cost, personalized health monitoring to people with chronic diseases living in working-class communities.

Novel approach to treat Alzheimer's and other diseases offered by targeting cell membrane RAFTS
This week in Science magazine, researchers from JADO Technologies, with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute and others, report on a potential new strategy for targeting Alzheimer's by inhibiting ß-secretase, the enzyme involved in plague formation.

A radical suggestion for world improvement
Now in English, the book

Better regional monitoring of CO2 needed as global levels continue rising
Monitoring Earth's rising greenhouse gas levels will require a global data collection network 10 times larger than the one currently in place in order to quantify regional progress in emission reductions, according to a new research commentary by University of Colorado and NOAA researchers appearing in the April 25 issue of Science.

Are Ice Age relics the next casualty of climate change?
The Wildlife Conservation Society recently launched a four-year study to determine if climate change is affecting populations of a quintessential Arctic denizen: the rare musk ox.

Refining the date of the K/T boundary and the dinosaur extinction
Thanks to a new calibration of the versatile argon-argon dating technique, geochronologists at UC Berkeley and the Berkeley Geochronology Center have established a more precise date for the dinosaur die-off at the end of the Cretaceous period: 65.95 million years ago, give or take 40,000 years.

UCSF marks a milestone with 500th transplant in heart and lung program
UCSF marked a milestone this week with the 500th procedure in its Thoracic Transplant Program, which specializes in transplantation of the heart and lung.

New gene discovered for new form of intellectual disability
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has discovered a new form of intellectual disability involving mental retardation along with the eye defect retinitis pigmentosa.

2007 Softwood log exports from the West coast increase
A total of 879.9 million board feet of softwood logs was exported from Washington, Oregon, northern California and Alaska in 2007.

European light research opens door for optical storage and computing
The goal of replacing electronics with optics for processing data in computers is coming closer through cutting-edge European research into the mysterious properties of

Earthquake in Illinois could portend an emerging threat
To the surprise of many, the earthquake on April 18, 2008, about 120 miles east of St.

Dawn of human matrilineal diversity
Over 600 complete mtDNA genomes from indigenous populations across the continent were analyzed by Genographic scientists and their collaborators and the data provided surprising insights into the early demographic history of human populations before they moved out of Africa.

New 3-D ultrasound could improve stroke diagnosis, care
Using 3-D ultrasound technology they designed, Duke University bioengineers can compensate for the thickness and unevenness of the skull to see in real-time the arteries within the brain that most often clog up and cause strokes.

Invention gives improved gene technology analysis
A newly patented invention from Norwegian researchers gives more reliable results in gene technology-based diagnostic tests.

Scientists reveal presence of ocean current 'stripes'
More than 20 years of continuous measurements and a dose of

New technology for boosting vaccine efficiency
One of the most pressing biomedical issues is the development of techniques that increase the efficiency of vaccines.

New nanotech products hitting the market at the rate of 3-4 per week
New nanotechnology consumer products are coming on the market at the rate of 3-4 per week, a finding based on the latest update to the nanotechnology consumer product inventory maintained by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

Young and homeless drug-users more likely to exit treatment early
Almost a quarter of the most problematic drug-users in some areas exit drug treatment programmes before they've even completed 30 days reports a new study published in BioMed Central's open access Harm Reduction Journal.

Proteins that stop a major signaling pathway can also generate new proteins
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered that a crucial communications pathway in cells not only stops cells from making proteins, it also makes them go.

Las Vegas reveals the riches of geologic history
The Geological Society of America has published a new field guide for the southwestern US area surrounding Las Vegas, Nev.

Symposium announces great strides in childhood immunization
Top vaccine experts and child advocates meeting in Barcelona today hailed dramatic new evidence of the role of immunisation in reducing deaths among children in the world's poorest nations.

Molecular analysis confirms T. rex's evolutionary link to birds
Putting more meat on the theory that dinosaurs' closest living relatives are modern-day birds, molecular analysis of a shred of 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex protein -- along with that of 21 modern species -- confirms that dinosaurs share common ancestry with chickens, ostriches, and to a lesser extent, alligators.

A first: researchers apply efficient coding principle to sense of smell
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that the efficient coding principle regarding neurobiological processes applies to sense of smell.

Breast cancer subtypes originate from different biological pathways
There is a biological distinction between breast cancers that depend on hormones and those that do not, according to research published Friday, April 25 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.

Injecting sulfate particles into stratosphere could have drastic impact on Earth's ozone layer
A much-discussed idea to offset global warming by injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere would have a drastic impact on Earth's protective ozone layer, new research concludes.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

'Paleontology of the Upper Eocene Florissant Formation, Colorado'
The significance of the Florissant fossil beds has been widely recognized for more than a century.

Warming with a whale-centric worldview
Chie Sakakibara, lecturer and University of Oklahoma doctoral graduate, won the 2007 Ph.D.

Technological breakthrough in the fight to cut greenhouse gases
Scientists at Newcastle University, UK, have developed a highly energy-efficient method of converting waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into chemical compounds known as cyclic carbonates.

Study shows positive findings in treating patients with advanced hepatitis C
The hepatitis C therapy peginterferon alfa-2b, when given as low-dose maintenance therapy, can prevent disease progression in certain patients who failed previous interferon-based hepatitis C therapies and have advanced liver disease.

Dr. Mei honored by mental health research charity for schizophrenia studies
Studies of how brain cell communication may be altered in schizophrenia have earned Dr.

Scientists call for more access to biotech crop data
More than one billion acres of biotech crops have been grown in the US, but their environmental impacts are not fully known.

Higher wealth linked to lower stroke risk from age 50 to 64
Higher wealth is linked with a lower risk of stroke in Americans between the ages of 50 and 64, but does not predict strokes in those over age 65, researchers reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Self-referring physicians behind increase in diagnostic imaging
Physicians who refer patients to their own facilities or machines for scans account for much of the increase in diagnostic imaging ordered for privately insured patients said a Baylor College of Medicine expert in a commentary that appears in the current issue of the journal Medical Care.

Successful cooperation extends Dragon Program
Following the success of the Dragon Program, more than 300 leading European and Chinese scientists have gathered from April 21-25, 2008, in Beijing in the People's Republic of China to present their results and to kick off the program's second phase, Dragon 2.

Princeton scientists discover exotic quantum state of matter
A team of scientists from Princeton University has found that one of the most intriguing phenomena in condensed-matter physics -- known as the quantum Hall effect -- can occur in nature in a way that no one has ever before seen.

New lymphoma therapies targets diverse and difficult cancer
The fifth leading cause of cancer in the United States, lymphoma is made up of more than 40 rare and highly diverse diseases that target the body's lymphatic system.
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