Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 14, 2008
AGU Journal Highlights -- May 14, 2008
In this issue: Did global sea level rise start centuries ago?

Scientists decipher fruit tree genome for the first time
Researchers from several universities of the USA and China have sequenced for the first time papaya genome; they have also identified the DNA of a transgenic organism for the first time.

Wandering poles left scars on Europa
Curved features on Jupiter's moon Europa may indicate that its poles have wandered by almost 90 degrees, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and University of California-Santa Cruz in the May 15 issue of Nature.

European study initiated to compare sirolimus-eluting stenting vs. balloon angioplasty
Cordis Corp. will compare its Cypher Select + (Plus) sirolimus-eluting stent with balloon angioplasty, the company announced today at the EuroPCR meeting in Barcelona.

Female sex offenders often have mental problems
Women who commit sexual offenses are just as likely to have mental problems or drug addictions as other violent female criminals.

Doing your PGCE at M-Level first student guide aims to de-mystify the 'M' in M-Level
SAGE have today launched the first ever student guide for the Masters-Level PGCE.

Fat chance: Brown vs. white fat cell specification
In the May 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Bruce Spiegelman and colleagues elucidate the molecular pathway that induces cells to become energy-burning brown fat cells as opposed to energy-storing white fat cells.

Distinct treatment needed: Tourette's and obsessive-compulsive disorder
While 30 to 50 percent of people with Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome are also affected with obsessive compulsive disorder, both illnesses might have a distinct neurocognitive profile, according to a new study published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry by researchers from the Université de Montréal and the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre of the Louis-H Lafontaine Hospital.

Why do black pigment stones cause gallbladder contractility function disorder?
The mechanism of formation of black pigment stones is still not completely understood.

Symposium focuses on curable cancer that affects young men
The latest information on the biology and treatment of testicular cancer, the most common cancer among young men, will be presented at the Symposium on Testicular Cancer organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology, to be held on May 15-16 in Munich, Germany.

Research shows HPV testing offers women protection for twice as long as smear testing
The long term findings of a study carried out at Hammersmith hospital reveal that testing for human papilloma virus can be twice as effective at protecting women from developing cervical abnormalities as smear testing.

The International Meeting for Autism Research, May 15-17, 2008
The 7th Annual International Meeting for Autism Research brings experts together from around the world to the Novotel London West Hotel and Convention Centre from May 15-17, 2008.

Discovery of cell linked to learning and memory
Queensland Brain Institute neuroscientists at the University of Queensland have discovered a fundamental component of the process that regulates memory formation.

Window of opportunity for restoring oaks small, new study finds
A new technical report titled

Mouse study: When it comes to living longer, it's better to go hungry than go running
A study investigating aging in mice has found that hormonal changes that occur when mice eat significantly less may help explain an already established phenomenon: a low calorie diet can extend the lifespan of rodents, a benefit that even regular exercise does not achieve.

Effect of mutant p53 stability on tumorigenesis and drug design
In the May 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Guillermina Lozano and colleagues reveal how the stabilization of a mutated form of p53 affects oncogenesis, and lends startling new insight into the potential pitfalls of using Mdm2 inhibitors for cancer therapy.

A rare case: Post-endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pneumoperitoneum
A team led by Dr. Stelios F. Assimakopoulos has reported an extremely rare case of post-ERCP pneumoperitoneum caused by rupture of intrahepatic bile ducts and Glisson's capsule in the area of a large peripheral hepatic metastasis.

Innovative antennae may signal a 'new wave' in health care provision
Compact, wireless and power efficient body sensors that allow doctors to monitor illnesses and injuries remotely are a step closer thanks to new research.

Most effective initial therapy for HIV-1 infection identified
In the largest study of its kind to evaluate commonly used HIV drugs, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine confirmed that one of the most frequently prescribed triple drug combinations for initial HIV infection is indeed the most effective at suppressing HIV.

Estimated 3.2 million Burmese potentially affected by cyclone
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Lehman College, CUNY have developed geographic risk models, which indicate that as many as 3.2 million Burmese are estimated to be affected by the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.

Golden nanocrown
Researchers led by Shu-Yan Yu have recently made a

Genetic variation linked to sugary food
A new study released today in the online edition of Physiological Genomics finds that individuals with a specific genetic variation consistently consume more sugary foods.

Micro and Nano Scale Characterization of Fibers
Fibers present massive challenges and opportunities for micro and nano technologies.

Compound has potential for new class of AIDS drugs
Researchers have developed what they believe is the first new mechanism in nearly 20 years for inhibiting a common target used to treat all HIV patients, which could eventually lead to a new class of AIDS drugs.

Ohio congresswoman cited by American College of Physicians
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur received the annual Joseph F. Boyle Award for Distinguished Public Service from the American College of Physicians last night.

Which therapy is more effective in inactivation of gastric inflammatory? 7 day or 10 day- triple?
The aim of H pylori eradication is to stop the chronic inflammatory activity that leads to histological changes in the gastric mucosa.

1 of the best researchers in general practice
Tony Avery, professor of primary care in the University of Nottingham's Medical School will be recognized this week as one of the best researchers in general practice.

Studies confirm greenhouse mechanisms even further into past
The newest analysis of trace gases trapped in Antarctic ice cores now provide a reasonable view of greenhouse gas concentrations as much as 800,000 years into the past, and are further confirming the link between greenhouse gas levels and global warming, scientists reported today in the journal Nature.

Research examines factors in delaying or declining total knee replacement surgery
A study led by Dr. Ann F. Jacobson, associate professor in Kent State's College of Nursing, unveils the reasons why people may initially choose to postpone but ultimately undergo total knee replacement surgery and emphasizes the need for better patient education before and after the procedure.

Indianapolis trees provide $5.7M in benefits
US Forest Service scientists with the Center for Urban Forest Research have completed a study that found planting and nurturing Indianapolis street trees brought a 500 percent return in benefits from storm water reduction, energy conservation, cleaner air and increased property values.

NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change
A new NASA-led study shows human-caused climate change has made an impact on a wide range of Earth's natural systems, including permafrost thawing, plants blooming earlier across Europe, and lakes declining in productivity in Africa.

Monarch butterflies help explain why parasites harm hosts
A new University of Georgia and Emory University study of monarch butterflies and the microscopic parasites that hitch a ride on them finds that the parasites strike a middle ground between the benefits gained by reproducing rapidly and the costs to their hosts.

New treatment for hepatitis C
A statin drug used to lower cholesterol found to stop hepatitis C, especially in patients resistant to standard treatment.

University of Minnesota to host world's largest conference on evolution
More than 1,400 of the world's top experts on evolution will gather in Minnesota June 20 through 24 for Evolution 2008 -- the world's largest annual gathering of evolutionary biologists.

Premier issue of Environmental Justice just published
Environmental Justice, a new quarterly peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., is the central forum for the research, debate and discussion of the equitable treatment and involvement of all people, especially minority and low-income populations, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.

Huge hole in the cosmos disappears
A giant void in the universe which grabbed the headlines last year probably doesn't exist at all.

Gastrin and somatostatin relate with large intestine carcinoma?
The study led by Professor Pei Wu shows that the higher the mRNA and protein expressions of GAS are, the lower the tissue differentiation and clinical stage are.

Physicists demonstrate how information can escape from black holes
Physicists at Penn State have provided a mechanism by which information can be recovered from black holes -- and the first plausible mechanism for how information might escape from black holes, those regions of space where gravity is so strong that, according to Einstein's theory of general relativity, not even light can escape.

Hot flushes and sleep deprivation in breast cancer survivors reduced by stellate-ganglion block
Giving breast cancer survivors a stellate-ganglion block -- an injection into the nerves of the neck which regulate temperature -- could provide these patients with long-term relief from both hot flushes and sleep deprivation.

New efficiency record for solar cells
Physicist Bram Hoex and colleagues at Eindhoven University of Technology, together with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, have improved the efficiency of an important type of solar cell from 21.9 to 23.2 percent (a relative improvement of 6 percent).

Common drug halts lung damage in emphysema
An antibiotic commonly used to treat acne can prevent tissue damage caused by lung diseases such as emphysema, researchers have found.

New role found for a cardiac progenitor population
In a discovery that could one day lead to an understanding of how to regenerate damaged heart tissue, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found that parent cells involved in embryonic development of the epicardium -- the cell layer surrounding the outside of the heart -- give rise to three important types of cells with potential for cardiac repair.

Scientists aim to unlock deep-sea 'secrets' of Earth's crust
Scientists from Durham University will use robots to explore the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to study the growth of underwater volcanoes that build the Earth's crust.

An unusual gastrointestinal manifestation of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome
A 10-year-old boy of Chinese origin was diagnosed to have Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome when he presented with stomach upset and severe anemia.

Deep sea methane scavengers captured
Scientists of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena succeeded in capturing syntrophic microorganisms that are known to dramatically reduce the oceanic emission of methane into the atmosphere.

A promising target of anti-fibrotic therapy: herbal compound 861
A research article published on May 14, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology gives a vivid picture, which shows that herbal compound 861inhibits the transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF beta1)-dependent effects of in vitro cultured LX-2 hepatic stellate cells by decreasing α-SMA expression, Id1 transcription, and Smad-1 phosphorylation, and exerts its effect on the inactivation of LX-2 cells by down-regulating the TGF-beta1/activin receptor-like kinase 1 signaling pathway.

BBVA Foundation international study on attitudes to stem cell research
In general, the use of spare embryos left over from fertility treatments meets with a high level of acceptance (most notably in Denmark and Sweden with mean scores of 6.8 and 6.7 respectively on an acceptance scale from 0 to 10).

International Diabetes Federation gives grant to metabolic syndrome research project in Australia
The International Diabetes Federation BRIDGES translational research grant program will fund STOP Diabetes, a project to be implemented and studied in Australia.

Families shed light on likely causative gene for Alzheimer's
The genetic profile of two large Georgia families with high rates of late-onset Alzheimer's disease points to a gene that may cause the disease, researchers say.

NJIT doctoral students receive recognition at poster competition
Giuseppe Di Benedetto and Micaela Caramellino, two doctoral students in NJIT's graduate chemical engineering program, recently received recognition at a student poster event organized for developing efficient and robust approaches to manufacture nano- and micro-sized drug particles.

Study confirms link between mothers' depression, young children's injuries
Infants and toddlers whose mothers are severely depressed are almost three times more likely to suffer accidental injuries than other children in the same age group, according to a new study.

Extrahepatic bile duct cancer produces granulocyte colony-stimulating factor?
A rare case of extrahepatic bile-duct carcinoma which reported recently indicated multiple distant metastasis despite of localized primary lesion.

Staying Sharp in San Francisco: Leading brain experts discuss successful aging
Brain function and health will be the focus of the Staying Sharp session on May 17 at St.

Molecular 'clock' could predict risk for developing breast cancer
A chemical reaction in genes that control breast cancer provides a molecular clock that could one day help researchers more accurately determine a woman's risk for developing breast cancer and provide a new approach for treatment, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Nanotechnology in reverse uses cell to calibrate tools
Nanotechnology researchers at UC Davis have shown that they can use a red blood cell to calibrate a sensitive instrument, an atomic force microscope.

Ice cores reveal fluctuations in the Earth's greenhouse gases
Ice cores from Antarctica show both the lowest atmospheric content of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and fast changes in the content of CH4 (methane) measured over the past 800,000 years.

Researchers find first conclusive evidence of Alzheimer's-like brain tangles in nonhuman primates
Researchers have discovered the first conclusive evidence of Alzheimer's-like neurofibrillary brain tangles in an aged nonhuman primate.

Mixed results for late-talking toddlers
New research findings from the world's largest study on language emergence have revealed that one in four late-talking toddlers continue to have language problems by age seven.

Research sheds new light on heroin addiction
Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne have identified a factor that may contribute towards the development of heroin addiction by manipulating the adenosine A2A receptor, which plays a major role in the brain's

NC State astrophysicist discovers youngest known supernova in Milky Way
A North Carolina State University researcher has discovered the youngest known supernova in our galaxy.

Office initiative reduces headaches and neck and shoulder pain by more than 40 percent
When office staff took part in a workplace educational and physical initiative, headaches fell by 41 percent, neck and shoulder pain fell by 43 percent and painkiller use fell by 51 percent.

Weill Cornell science briefs May 2008
Weill Cornell Science Briefs is an electronic newsletter published by the Office of Public Affairs that focuses on innovative medical research and patient care at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

May 22-23 workshop on impacts of severe space weather events
The nation's current and future ability to cope with severe space weather events and their possible societal and economic impacts is the focus of a free public workshop organized by the National Research Council's Space Studies Board.

Undergraduates develop 'dirt-powered' microbial fuel cells to light Africa
A team composed of Harvard students and alumni was among the winners of the World Bank's Lighting Africa 2008 Development Marketplace competition, held in Accra, Ghana, from May 6-8, 2008.

Mouse can do without man's most treasured genes
The mouse is a stalwart stand-in for humans in medical research, thanks to genomes that are 85 percent identical.

Monkey studies important for brain science
Studies with non-human primates have made major contributions to our understanding of the brain and will continue to be an important, if small, part of neuroscience research, according to a recent review published in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

Warming climate is changing life on global scale, says new study
A vast array of physical and biological systems across the earth are being affected by warming temperatures caused by humans, says a new analysis of information not previously assembled all in one spot.

Risk of death persists in heart patients with acute kidney injury
Acute kidney injury, a common complication of cardiac surgery during hospitalization, is linked to increased and prolonged risk of death in heart attack patients who have been discharged from the hospital, according to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Accounting practices ultimately affect global economy
The quality of financial reporting differs from country to country.

Restoring fish populations leads to tough choice for Great Lakes Gulls
You might think that stocking the Great Lakes with things like trout and salmon would be good for the herring gull.

OSU technologies funded for development
OSU's Technology Business Assessment Group will fund four faculty research projects for spring 2008.

Aprotinin associated with increased risk of death
Aprotinin is associated with a 50 percent increase in the relative risk of death, according to a major Canadian clinical trial comparing three drugs routinely used to prevent blood loss during heart surgery.

3-peat: Top PhD computer graphics innovator nabs prestigious NVIDIA Fellowship
For a third year in a row, Jay Steele, a Ph.D. student in computer graphics in the School of Computing, has received the prestigious NVIDIA Fellowship Program award for his work to solve complex visual computing challenges.

Automatic eyeglasses prescriptions? New formula connects optical quality with visual acuity
For the first time, a study combines measurements of abnormalities in the eye with models for assessing how well an individual can see, meaning it may be possible to program a machine to automatically produce prescriptions for corrective lenses.

Tooth loss strongly linked to risk of esophageal, head and neck, and lung cancer
Studying thousands of patients, Japanese researchers have found a strong link between tooth loss and increased risk of three cancers -- esophageal, head and neck, and lung.

UT Houston Dean Colasurdo named Executive Communicator of the Year
The Houston chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators has named Giuseppe Colasurdo, M.D., dean of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, its Executive Communicator of the Year.

Aiming to sway voters, candidates emphasize hot-button issues across party lines
By studying campaign strategy during the 2004 presidential general election, political scientists have shown that candidates are increasingly targeting individual voters, based on controversial wedge issues.

Common bacteria activating natural killer T cells may cause autoimmune liver disease
A bacteria commonly found in soil and water triggered autoimmune symptoms in mice similar to those found in an incurable liver disease called Primary Biliary Cirrhosis.

Video games and violence
Writing today in the International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry, Patrick Kierkegaard of the University of Essex, England, suggests that there is scant scientific evidence that video games are anything but harmless and do not lead to real world aggression.

Racism not an issue in firing of NBA coaches
Race is not a factor in the firing of NBA coaches, although white coaches with losing records had somewhat longer tenures before being fired than African-American coaches with more losses than wins, a new study shows.

Researchers fine-tune clot-busting treatment for bleeding in brain
A multi-center study led by Johns Hopkins doctors has fine-tuned the dosage and timing for administering clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator to patients with strokes caused by bleeding within the brain.

Slowing light to speed data: USC Viterbi School wins $4.3M photonics IT contract
Two prize-winning USC specialists hope to break a bottleneck that has long limited communication systems that use light -- photons -- instead of electronics for data information processing.

Taking on Britain's 'sick note culture'
GPs should lend a hand to beat the

Teens reach linguistic peak in online chat
Teachers and parents should take comfort from a study suggesting that teenagers' use of shorthand in online instant messaging is not harming their language skills.

Fox Chase Cancer Center's Ning Wong receives ASCO Cancer Foundation Career Development Award
The American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Foundation has selected Yu-Ning Wong, M.D., M.S.C.E., of Fox Chase Cancer Center, as one of 13 clinicians to receive a 2008 Career Development Award.

What cause alanine aminotransferase levels to elevate persistently among Iranian general population?
A team led by Dr. A Pourshams from the University of Medical Sciences/University of Tehran with collaboration of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Research Center in Tehran, has determined the prevalence and causes of persistently elevated alanine aminotransferase levels among general population in northern of Iran.

Vancouver researchers discover missing link between TB bacteria and humans
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have discovered how tuberculosis bacteria hide and multiply in the human body and are working toward a treatment to block this mechanism of infection.

Rosiglitazone prevents hepatic fibrosis?
To test whether rosiglitazone inhibits fibrosis by stimulating peroxisome proliferator activated receptors gamma (PPAR gamma) activities, the authors examined the effects of praziquantel, rosiglitazone, and praziquantel plus rosiglitazone in mice with liver fibrosis due to infection with schistosoma japonicum.

Middle class relaxing with marijuana
A variety of middle-class people are making a conscious but careful choice to use marijuana to enhance their leisure activities.

Discovery of most recent supernova in our galaxy
The most recent supernova in our galaxy has been discovered by tracking the rapid expansion of its remains.

Commencement 2008: Student innovation could improve data storage, magnetic sensors
Paul Morrow, who will graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on May 17, has come a long way from his days as an elementary school student, pulling apart his mother's cassette player. 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