Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 30, 2008
Institute formed at McMaster to advance automotive research
A new research institute has been established at McMaster University to coordinate its increasing involvement in the automotive sector.

Method for fast human antibodies against flu could find broad use
Scientists have developed a new, faster way to create human monoclonal antibodies against infectious disease by tapping the immune system at the peak of its powers.

Monoclonal antibody Hb3: A marker for colon cancer progression or as a therapeutic target?
A team led by Professor Guancheng Li from China's Central South University has applied SDS-PAGE, Western blot, and mass spectrometer analyses to confirm that the antigen which was recognized by colon cancer monoclonal antibody Hb3 is probably CKAP4-similar protein, belonging to the agrNp63 alpha isoform of the p63 family, and could be considered as a marker for colon cancer progression or as a therapeutic target.

UCLA stem cell researchers create heart and blood cells from reprogrammed skin cells
Stem cell researchers at UCLA were able to grow functioning cardiac cells using mouse skin cells that had been reprogrammed into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells.

Synergistic growth inhibitory effect of herbal extracts against HCC and lung cancer cells
A team led by Dr. Khosit Pinmai from Thammasat University has investigated the combination effects of P. emblica and T. bellerica extracts with conventional cytotoxic agents against human cancer cells.

Appelbaum wins DEPSCoR grant for spintronics research
Ian Appelbaum, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, has received a $484,370 grant from the US Department of Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research for a major study on

Husband and wife team recognized for outstanding breast cancer research
Drs. Jane Visvader and Geoff Lindeman, researchers at Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, have been presented with the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence for their outstanding contribution to breast cancer research.

Scientists find rings of Jupiter are shaped in shadow
Scientists from the University of Maryland and the Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany appear to have solved a long-standing mystery about the cause of anomalies in Jupiter's gossamer rings.

Cholesterol modulates sorting of CEA -- implications for inflammatory bowel disease
Researchers at the University of Heidelberg have shown that carcinoembryonic antigen is missorted to the basolateral membrane after cholesterol depletion.

Physical activity, healthy eating and BMI not linked in older teens: study
Contrary to what many researchers expect, physically active older teens don't necessarily eat a healthier diet than their less-active contemporaries.

Prozac may help to curb disease activity in multiple sclerosis
The antidepressant Prozac may help to curb disease activity in the relapsing remitting form of multiple sclerosis, reveals preliminary research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

UC Davis study suggests sick children should be tranferred to specialty hospitals sooner
Critically ill children admitted to the pediatric intensive care units of regional medical centers from smaller hospitals are sicker than those admitted directly from those centers' own emergency rooms, a study by pediatric critical care physicians at UC Davis Children's Hospital has found.

A patient who was diagnosed as IPN-B without hepatolithiasis?
A team led by Dr. Simon D. Taylor-Robinson from Hammersmith Hospital treated a 65-year-old woman with dilatation of the intrahepatic bile duct in the right anterior segment that was detected by abdominal ultrasonography.

Scientists discover new ocean current
Scientists at Georgia Tech have discovered a new climate pattern, the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation.

Molecular change may reveal risk of leukemia relapse
Researchers may have discovered a better way to distinguish acute leukemia patients who require aggressive treatment to prevent relapse from those who need only standard therapy for cure.

EULAR 2008
Journalist registrations are now being accepted for EULAR, the European League Against Rheumatism's annual meeting, taking place Wednesday, June 11, to Saturday, June 14, 2008, in Paris, France.

How deep is Europe?
A new model of Europe's Earth's crust.

UIC scientists discover how some bacteria survive antibiotics
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered how some bacteria can survive antibiotic treatment by turning on resistance mechanisms when exposed to the drugs.

Denzel Washington's hometown hosts awarding of scholarships bearing Washington family name
Denzel Washington's hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y., will host the 2008 awards ceremony for the Neuroscience Scholarships bearing the Washington family name.

Penn study finds elderly heart patients with ICD devices live longer after heart failure
Elderly patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure who receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death live longer than those that do not.

Turning on cell-cell communication wipes out staph biofilms
University of Iowa researchers have succeeded in wiping out established biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus by hijacking one of the bacteria's own regulatory systems.

How to manage Chinese obese children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
A team led by Professor Li Liang from the Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine has determined that short-term lifestyle intervention and short-term vitamin E capsule therapy has an effect on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in obese children.

Scientists discover the double life of proteins
Scientists at the Australian National University are a step closer to understanding the rare Hartnup disorder after discovering a surprising link between blood pressure regulation and nutrition that could also help to shed light on intestinal and kidney function.

Report raises C. diff concerns; yeast-based probiotic shown to help significantly reduce recurrence
C. diff-associated disease, a severe intestinal disease, is the subject of heightened concern in the medical community with the release of a new report by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which revealed a 200 percent increase in potentially fatal diarrheal infections in US hospitals between 2000 and 2005.

Meteorology student SOARS toward excellence, overcomes obstacles
Roque Vinicio C├ęspedes, a junior at the University of Miami double majoring in Meteorology and Applied Mathematics has been awarded a prestigious Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science mentorship.

Dual treatment of incontinence and dementia associated with functional decline
Older nursing home residents who took medications for dementia and incontinence at the same time had a 50 percent faster decline in function than those who were being treated only for dementia, according to a study from researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Climate change
The UN Conference on Climate Change 2009 has asked IARU to organize this congress as part of the run-up to the COP Summit.

A model photochemical compass for bird navigation
A team of researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Oxford are the first to model a photochemical compass that may simulate how migrating birds use light and Earth's weak magnetic field to navigate.

DIAMOND to tackle UK nuclear waste issues
The long-term problem of how to manage and dispose of Britain's nuclear waste is to be tackled by a UK consortium headed by the University of Leeds.

CU-Boulder researchers forecast 3-in-5 chance of record low Arctic sea ice in 2008
New University of Colorado at Boulder calculations indicate the record low minimum extent of sea ice across the Arctic last September has a three-in-five chance of being shattered again in 2008 because of continued warming temperatures and a preponderance of younger, thinner ice.

High rate of complicated idiopathic gallstone disease in pediatric patients
This study, performed Dr. Denise Herzog's team at Sainte Justine Hospital, University of Montreal, Canada, has reviewed the rate of gallstone disease and its mode of presentation in pediatric patients requiring abdominal ultrasound at Sainte Justine Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

'Smart' greenhouse research partnership unveiled
A new research partnership between Kent State University and Cleveland Botanical Garden puts liquid crystal technology to use in glass panels which can control sunlight entering a greenhouse environment.

Genotyping takes us closer to an osteoporosis fingerprint
For the first time ever, an extensive genome-wide search has been undertaken to find the genes linked to osteoporosis and fracture.

Astute Nanotechnology celebrates first year of success
University of Queensland-based Astute Nanotechnology will celebrate the achievements of its first year in business with a special presentation and cocktail reception tomorrow, Tuesday, April 29.

Researchers discover molecular basis of a form of muscular dystrophy
A team of French and German researchers report in the May 2008 print issue of the FASEB Journal that people with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy are missing a protein called c-FLIP, which the body uses to prevent the loss of muscle tissue.

Tree-lined streets mean lower rates of childhood asthma
Children who live in tree-lined streets have lower rates of asthma, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Decade of the Mind symposium in Iowa to emphasize need for $4 billion in federal support
Internationally respected scientists will gather next week for a symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, May 7-9, to explore how a brain creates a mind and to emphasize the need for $4 billion in federal support for scientific research over the next 10 years.

Anti-HAV antibodies in beta-thalassemia
A team led by Dr. Chryssoula Labropoulou-Karatza and Dr. Dimitrios Siagris from the University of Patras detected that multi-transfused adult beta-thalassemia patients present a higher frequency of anti-Hepatitis A virus IgG antibodies than the normal population from the same geographic area.

More than words: childbirth training change improves safety, cuts unnecessary procedures
Relatively inexpensive interventions were effective in helping health care providers in Latin America improve the way they treat mothers during labor and delivery, reducing bleeding and sometimes saving lives of women during childbirth, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health study released today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Climate modelers see modern echo in '30s Dust Bowl
Climate scientists using computer models to simulate the 1930s Dust Bowl on the US Great Plains have found that dust raised by farmers probably amplified and spread a natural drop in rainfall, turning an ordinary drying cycle into an agricultural collapse.

The most natural drug
In an advance online publication in Nature, researchers from the Oklahoma Medical Foundation and Emorgy University describe a method that can identify and clone human antibodies specifically tailored to fight infections.

Golden wheat 'greens' Kenya's drylands
Hot and barren, Kenya's dry lands have long been unfit for agriculture, at best merely a grazing area for wild animals and livestock.

Not just for the monkeys: New publication shows evolution is everywhere
To spotlight the widespread importance of evolution, a group of renowned international scientists have launched a scientific journal devoted to using evolutionary biology to tackle the world's major biological crises.

USC researcher reveals new model for embryonic limb development
A study led by a researcher at the University of Southern California has found a new model to explain how signals between cells in the embryo control limb development.

UMCES-led research team quantifies nutrient pollution reductions from urban stream restoration
A team of researchers led by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researcher Dr.

Scientists collect data to aid Afghanistan reconstruction
The USGS recently collected new information to aid in resource and hazards assessments of Afghanistan.

'4-D' ionosphere map helps flyers, soldiers, ham radio operators
Today, at the Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colo., NASA-funded researchers released to the general public a new

UD chemical engineer honored for excellence in catalysis
Jingguang Chen, the Claire D. LeClaire Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware, has won the 2008 Award for Excellence in Catalysis from the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York.

Carbon Disclosure Project announces findings in supply chain carbon emissions
UK-based Carbon Disclosure Project announces findings of a climate change-focused survey of suppliers to large multinationals.

Salk study links diabetes and Alzheimer's disease
Diabetic individuals have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease but the molecular connection between the two remains unexplained.

United we stand: When cooperation butts heads with competition
Phrases such as

AIBS honors outstanding contributions to the biological sciences
Each year the American Institute of Biological Sciences awards eminent individuals or groups for outstanding contributions to the biological sciences.

Hackers learn to threaten computer hardware
Computer viruses and worms are nasty enough, but soon hackers could up the ante even further by threatening computer hardware.

Southern flavor in the Arctic
Scientists probing volcanic rocks from deep under the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean have discovered a special geochemical signature until now found only in the southern hemisphere.

International team of researchers explain how birds navigate
Scientists from Arizona State University and the University of Oxford, whose work appears in the April 30 advanced online publication of the journal Nature, have synthesized and studied a sophisticated molecule that, under illumination, is sensitive to both the magnitude and the direction of magnetic fields as tiny as the Earth's, which is, on average, one-twenty thousandth as strong as a refrigerator magnet.

Ancient 'Nutcracker Man' challenges ideas on evolution of human diet
Tiny marks on the teeth of an ancient human ancestor known as the

Prof. David Kisailus studies engineering and invention on the half-shell
Marine snails, sea urchins and other animals from the sea are teaching researchers in UC Riverside's Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering how to make the world a better place.

Biologists are from Mars, chemists are from Venus?
Steve Fifield, associate policy scientist at the University of Delaware, is leading research to uncover how scientists from different disciplines form working relationships.

Gastric juice for diagnosis of H. pylori infection in patients on proton pump inhibitors
This research study led by Dr. Javed Yakoob from Aga Khan University, Karachi, has determined that a gastric juice polymerase chain reaction test for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection has greater sensitivity compared to histology when commonly used potent acid-reducing drugs such as proton pump inhibitors are being used.

Anti-HBe may play a role in the progression of the disease of hepatitis B
A team led by Dr. A Behzad-Behbahani from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences has determined that HBV genotype D is the dominant genotype in different clinical forms of either acute or chronic hepatitis.

Researchers find quick way to make human monoclonal antibodies against flu
Human monoclonal antibodies against influenza can be rapidly produced in the lab, according to a new report from scientists supported by NIH.

Are you looking at me?
In humans, the eyes are said to be the

8 new human genome projects offer large-scale picture of genetic difference
A nationwide consortium led by the University of Washington in Seattle has completed the first sequence-based map of structural variations in the human genome, giving scientists an overall picture of the large-scale differences in DNA between individuals.

Intensive training for medical staff reduces serious complication of pregnancy
An intensive educational program for physicians and midwives involving 19 hospitals in Argentina and Uruguay dramatically reduced the rate of postpartum hemorrhage, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Zebrafish may help solve ringing in vets' ears
Ever since Ernest Moore's ears began ringing with tinnitus, he has been researching a cure.

Incubator electromagnetic fields alter newborns' heart rates
The electromagnetic fields produced by incubators alter newborns' heart rates, reveals a small study published ahead of print in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Graphene-based gadgets may be just years away
Researchers at The University of Manchester have produced tiny liquid crystal devices with electrodes made from graphene -- an exciting development that could lead to computer and TV displays based on this technology.

High circulating D-dimers are associated with presence of ascites
Dr. Aldo Spadaro and his colleagues at the University of Messina, Italy, have recently published a study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology showing that high plasma D-dimer levels in patients with liver cirrhosis are associated with the presence of ascites.

Improving survival rates among users of left ventricular assist devices
Despite the general success of left ventricular assist devices used in critically ill heart failure patients, implantation of these devices often leads to increased bleeding and a need for high-volume blood transfusions during and immediately after surgery.

Texas engineer receives IEEE-USA's highest honor, 1 of 24 IEEE-USA award recipients
Jean Eason was presented the Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award

Better-educated women are a healthier weight, new research reveals
A new comparison of multi-national data reveals that highly-educated women have a healthier average weight than less-educated women.

Heat transfer between materials is focus of new research grant
Managing heat is a major challenge for engineers who work on devices from jet engines to personal electronics to nanoscale transistors.

'Destruct' triggers may be jammed in tumor cells, UF geneticists say
By monitoring gene activity levels and changes in chromatin -- the protein spools that the genes wrap around -- University of Florida researchers were able to detect epigenetic factors that make fruit fly cells resistant to radiation.

Preoperative assessment of cancer patients enables early diagnosis, treatment of lymphedema
The preoperative assessment of breast cancer patients for subclinical lymphedema enables clinicians to establish a baseline, which serves to enable the early diagnosis and successful treatment of the debilitating condition, according to data from a five-year study published this week in the online edition of the journal Cancer.

Climate change threats to HIV rates
Social factors, including economic pressures caused by climate change, could lead to an increase in HIV infection rates world-wide, warns a leading researcher from the University of New South Wales.

Researchers produce first sequence map of large-scale structural variation in human genome
A nationwide team of researchers, funded in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health, has produced the first sequence-based map of large-scale structural variation across the human genome.

US Patent Office rejects company's claim for bean commonly grown by Latin American farmers
The USPTO today rejected all of the patent claims for a common yellow bean that has been a familiar staple in Latin American diets for more than a century.

Melanoma of the rectum: A rare entity
A 41-year-old man presented with a 6-month history of changed defecation patterns and rectal bleeding.

NASA satellite pins down timer in stellar ticking time bomb
Using observations from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, an international team of astronomers has discovered a timing mechanism that allows them to predict exactly when a superdense star will unleash incredibly powerful explosions.

UMass Medical School's Craig Mello elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
UMass Medical School cell biologist Craig Mello, 2006 Nobel Laureate, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Regulatory T cells in patients treated with Adacolumn granulocytapheresis
This research study, performed by Dr. E. Cuadrado and colleagues at Hospital Donostia in a small group of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, suggests that the clinical efficacy of adsorptive cytapheresis with Adacolumn in these conditions correlates with the increase of regulatory T cells.

Decoding the dictionary: Study suggests lexicon evolved to fit in the brain
The latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary boasts 22,000 pages of definitions.

Determined a new method to establish the antioxidant capacity of extra virgin olive oil
Scientists of the University of Granada have determined four methods to find out the antioxidant capacity and beneficial effect of extra virgin olive oil obtained from Picual olives.

Pill ingredient could prevent brain damage after head injury
A common component of the contraceptive pill could improve the neurologic outcome for patients with severe head injuries, according to a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care.

Does 1q31.1-32.1 harbor a tumor suppressor gene related to Chinese SCC patients?
A team led by Dr. Zhihai Peng from No. 1 People's Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University has explored precise deleted regions on 1q31.1-32.1 and screened the candidate tumor suppressor genes related to sporadic colorectal carcinoma.

Daily aspirin may reduce risk of common type of breast cancer
Taking aspirin on a daily basis may lower women's risk of a particular type of breast cancer, according to results published in BioMed Central's open access journal Breast Cancer Research.

Alzheimer's disease risks are gender specific
The risks of developing Alzheimer's disease differ between the sexes, with stroke in men, and depression in women, critical factors, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Family history places women at risk of pelvic organ prolapse, SLU research finds
Pelvic organ prolapse, a common and uncomfortable gynecological condition, runs in families, new Saint Louis University research shows.

New findings: The anti-fibrotic mechanism of plant extract Cpd 861
A team led by Dr. Xue-Hai Tan from the Beijing Genomics Institute has determined that the antifibrotic function of Chinese herbal extract Cpd 861 is mediated by both downregulating the synthesis of collagens and upregulating the degradation of collagens.

It's a unisex brain with specific signals that trigger 'male' behavior
Research by Yale scientists shows that males and females have essentially unisex brains -- at least in flies -- according to a recent report in Cell designed to identify factors that are responsible for sex differences in behavior. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to