Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 28, 2008
New vaccine approach prevents/reverses diabetes in lab study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
Microspheres carrying targeted nucleic acid molecules fabricated in the laboratory have been shown to prevent and even reverse new-onset cases of type 1 diabetes in animal models.

How fairness is wired in the brain
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have discovered that reason struggles with emotion to find equitable solutions, and have pinpointed the region of the brain where this takes place.

A snack for the armchair economist
Moviegoers are astounded by the astronomical prices they're asked to pay for popcorn.

Cancer survivors are living 'in limbo' with unmet needs for care
Many long-term survivors of cancer are not receiving the necessary symptom management that they require to help them live with the consequences of their disease, its treatment, or both, according to a leading professor of palliative medicine.

Intestinal bacteria promote -- and prevent -- inflammatory bowel disease
A sugar molecule produced by a beneficial bacterium in the intestinal microflora appears to have anti-inflammatory effects that can mitigate symptoms of colitis in experimental animals.

Fraunhofer -- a truly multinational partner
International experience is indispensable in the age of globalization -- not just for individuals but for companies too, and for service providers in particular.

Mice mothers devote energies to offspring when life is threatened
Deer mice offspring of infected mothers were bigger, meaning they are more likely to survive and reproduce.

Getting better with a little help from our 'micro' friends
A naturally occurring molecule made by symbiotic gut bacteria may offer a new type of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, according to scientists at the California Institute of Technology.

Key to Angelina-like cheeks? Add volume to deep fat compartment
Not only are cheeks central to your face -- they are central to the American concept of beauty.

Marine chemist says 'not so fast' to quick oil detection method
A new method for assessing environmental contamination after oil spills is in danger of being applied in situations where it doesn't work and might produce false conclusions.

CSI: Milky Way team works scene of dead star
Like a team of forensic detectives in a television show that could be called

Microbial stowaways: Are ships spreading disease?
Ships are inadvertently carrying trillions of stowaways in the water held in their ballast tanks.

New study shows sedentary high school girls are at significant risk for future osteoporosis
Significant numbers of female high school athletes and non-athletes suffer from one or more components of the female athlete triad, a combination of three conditions that can lead to cardiovascular disease, according to a new study by Medical College of Wisconsin researchers in Milwaukee.

Methane release could cause abrupt, far-reaching climate change
An abrupt release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from ice sheets that extended to Earth's low latitudes some 635 million years ago caused a dramatic shift in climate, scientists funded by the National Science Foundation report in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Scientists find bacteria thriving on a feast of seafloor rock
On the deep ocean floor, microbial life is feeding on fresh volcanic rock and flourishing with greater abundance than even the most optimistic scientists thought possible.

Study shows pine bark naturally reduces cardiovascular risk factors in diabetics
A new study published in the May 2008 edition of the journal of Nutrition Research shows Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, reduces blood sugar in type II diabetes patients, allows people to lower their anti-hypertensive medication and improves cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Sullivan wins NSF Career Award for research on therapeutic drug carriers
As a youngster, Millicent Sullivan had a fascination with shapes and loved building things with Tinker Toys.

Expansion of high tech materials
Industrial applications are ever more frequently demanding materials of highest thermal stability.

New vegetarian food with several benefits
A new vegetarian food that boosts the uptake of iron and offers a good set of proteins.

Into the wild
An intrepid team of researchers from the University of Nottingham are venturing into one of the most isolated regions on the planet to study the potentially devastating effects of global warming on natural habitats.

Long-term hormone replacement therapy increases breast cancer risk
Now there is proof for women in Germany, too: If hormone replacement therapy is taken over a period of more than five years, the risk of breast cancer will increase.

$1.3M NIH grant to fund Parkinson's disease study
A Binghamton University researcher will receive $1.33 million from the National Institutes of Health to support Parkinson's research that will focus not only on the treatment of the disease but also in the side effects of treatment.

Magnetic nanoparticles: Suitable for cancer therapy?
A measuring procedure developed in the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt can help to investigate in some detail the behavior of magnetic nanoparticles which are used for cancer therapy.

Sugar-coated antibiotics
Researchers from the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia have recently elucidated the structure and function of an enzyme which is involved in decorating antibiotics with sugar molecules.

Professor Brian Greenwood awarded first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Award
Professor Brian Greenwood, Manson Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will be awarded the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for research by Prime Minister Fukuda, and will also meet their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the TICAD4 conference in Yokohama today.

Protein plays key role in transmitting deadly malaria parasite
The transmembrane MAEBL is critical for completing the life cycle of malaria parasites in mosquitoes, allowing the insects to transmit the potentially deadly infection to humans, University of South Florida researchers have shown.

Fruits, vegetables and teas may protect smokers from lung cancer, UCLA researchers report
Tobacco smokers who eat three servings of fruits and vegetables per day and drink green or black tea may be protecting themselves from lung cancer, according to a first-of-its-kind study by UCLA cancer researchers.

New iron-based and copper-oxide high-temperature
In the initial studies of a new class of high-temperature superconductors discovered earlier this year, research at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology has revealed that new iron-based superconductors share similar unusual magnetic properties with previously known superconducting copper-oxide materials.

Spectral emissivity measurements for radiation thermometry
Industry and research are increasingly relying on noncontact temperature measurements with the aid of heat radiation, for example, for the reliable and reproducible drying of car paint.

Fruit fly protein acts as decoy to capture tumor growth factors, find Penn researchers
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have shown how Argos, a fruit fly protein, acts as a

New study reveals brain cell mechanism of alcohol dependence
A study released today reveals a cellular mechanism involved in alcohol dependence.

ACC and CRF announce partnership on ACC's Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit
The ACC's Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit in partnership with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in Orlando will deliver in-depth and cutting-edge science provided in a forum for both general cardiologists and interventional specialists, educating and guiding physicians, as well as cardiac care team members, to the next level of knowledge and practice.

Gene therapy increases survival for end-stage head and neck cancer
A gene therapy invented at the University of Texas M.

Medication shows promise for patients with severe chronic constipation
A new medication appears to offer significant relief to patients with severe chronic constipation while minimizing the likelihood of cardiac-related side effects.

Organic corn: Increasing rotation complexity increases yields
Researchers investigated the impact of increasing crop rotation length and complexity on crop yields in organic agricultural systems over a ten year period.

Names of inaugural Kavli Prize winners revealed
Seven pioneering scientists who have transformed human knowledge in the fields of nanoscience, neuroscience and astrophysics have become the first recipients of the million-dollar Kavli prizes.

Looking tired or angry may have more to do with facial aesthetics than how you feel
The old saying,

Study: Child maltreatment victims lose 2 years of quality of life
Child maltreatment is associated with reductions in quality of life even decades later, according to a new University of Georgia study that finds that -- on average -- victims lose at least two years of quality of life.

Powerful superconductor is in a class all its own
Researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University are using high magnetic fields to probe the properties of new materials composed of iron and arsenic, hoping to unlock the secret of their superconductivity.

Kavli Prize awarded to Pasko Rakic, pioneering Yale neuroscientist
Today Pasko Rakic, professor of neurobiology and neurology at Yale University School of Medicine, was named one of the inaugural recipients of the Kavli Prizes, for his key role in changing our understanding of the cerebral cortex, the seat of human cognitive function.

When your memories can no longer be trusted
The experience of false memories like this following neurological damage is known as confabulation.

Bacteria 'feed' on earth's ocean-bottom crust
Seafloor bacteria on ocean-bottom rocks are more abundant and diverse than previously thought, appearing to

How like Earth are alien planets?
The announcement at a meeting last week of the discovery of a large number of new exoplanets in the Milky Way, suggests the search for alien worlds similar to Earth is starting to pay off.

Researchers from 5 countries to test hygiene hypothesis with EU funding
The starting point of the hygiene hypothesis is that the decreasing infection load of infants in the developed countries leads to an increase in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

Fraunhofer and MIT establish research center for renewable energy
The research scientists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will in future be working in close cooperation with the scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT.

World's fastest-growing mud volcano is collapsing, says new research
The world's fastest-growing mud volcano is collapsing and could subside to depths of more than 140 meters with consequences for the surrounding environment, according to new research.

Why some treatments rescue aging skin
Dozens of studies show collagen repair is possible and demonstrate why three types of available skin treatments are effective: topical retinoic acid, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and injections of cross-linked hyaluronic acid.

Experts to discuss sleep science and the health risks of sleep disorders in Baltimore this June
SLEEP 2008 is the premier event for sleep professionals to present and discuss the latest research and clinical developments in the field.

Statistical tool could explain gene study variations
Dr. Hongyan Xu, a Medical College of Georgia biostatistician, is using statistics to explain variations in genome-wide association studies.

Government use of school league tables completely unjustified
Parents and teachers should not rely on school league tables to judge how good, or bad, a school is, according to research published today.

Large methane release could cause abrupt climate change as happened 635 million years ago
An abrupt release of methane about 635 million years ago from ice sheets caused a dramatic shift in climate, triggering a series of events that effectively ended the last

Scientists find giant ring encircling exotic dead star
One of the most powerful eruptions in the universe might have spun an infrared ring around a rare and exotic star known as a magnetar, a highly magnetized neutron star and the remnant of a brilliant supernova explosion signaling the death throes of a massive star.

New insights into cellular reprogramming revealed by genomic analysis
Recent research has shown that adult mouse and human cells can be transformed, or

A Great Lakes mystery: The case of the disappearing species
Throughout the overlooked depths of Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes, a small but important animal is rapidly disappearing.

Where man boldly goes, bacteria follow
Life in outer space is an absolute certainty, and it is likely to be more familiar than we might think, according to an article in the May issue of Microbiology Today.

Stretching exercises may reduce risk of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy
Stretching exercises may be more effective at reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia than walking is for pregnant women who have already experienced the condition and who do not follow a workout routine, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Securing the future of Europe's biological data resources
In a contract signed today, the European Commission has awarded 4.5 million euros to a pan-European consortium to decide upon the best way to unite Europe's biological data resources into a sustainable, integrative bioinformatics network for the life sciences.

USC study finds sex, age and ethnicity assciated with colorectal cancer survival
The interaction of sex, age and ethnicity has a significant impact on overall survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients, a study led by researchers at the University of Southern California and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center suggests.

European conference addresses increasing demand for EO data
For more than 40 years, Earth observing satellites have delivered valuable data about our planet and have enabled a better understanding and improved management of the Earth and its environment.

Scripps Research scientists find seizure drug reverses cellular effects
New findings from scientists at the Scripps Research Institute provide evidence that the drug gabapentin affects certain components of the alcohol addiction cycle in the brain, supporting the idea that the medication, which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating seizures and pain, also holds potential for the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Life, but not as we know it?
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have taken some important first steps to creating a synthetic copycat of a living cell, a leading science journal reports.

Kew Gardens provides climate for agricultural change
A device to help some of the most impoverished farmers in Africa maximize their crop yields is being tested at London's Kew Gardens.

ASPB engages Latin America colleagues at Annual Meeting in Merida, Mexico June 26-July 1
The Joint Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Sociedad Mexicana De Bioquimica Rama: Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular de Plantas will be held June 26-July 1, 2008 in the Fiesta Americana Hotel in Merida, Mexico.

Getting warmer: UT Knoxville researchers uncover information on new superconductors
The world of physics is on fire about a new kind of superconductor, and a group of researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by physicist Pengcheng Dai are in the middle of the heat.

C-sections a critical factor in preterm birth increase
C-sections account for nearly all of the increase in US singleton preterm births.

USC researchers identify genetic markers that predict efficacy of novel cancer drug
Researchers at the University of Southern California and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified genetic markers in cancer cells that predicted the benefit of a novel cancer drug prior to chemotherapy.

X-rays often repeated for patients in developing countries
Patients in developing countries often need to have X-ray examinations repeated so that doctors have the image quality they need for useful medical diagnosis, the IAEA is learning.

Quest for better treatment for effects of menopause
During menopause, lack of oestrogens increases the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases.

2 University of Illinois researchers named HHMI investigators
Two University of Illinois researchers have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.

New impetus for applied research: Fraunhofer posts 11 percent growth
In fiscal 2007, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft increased its budget by eleven percent to 1.32 billion euros -- and this is an on-going tendency.

News briefs from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the most widely read plastic surgery journal in the world.

'Barren' seafloor teeming with microbial life
Seafloor bacteria are more abundant and diverse than previously thought, appearing to

Mind over matter: Monkey feeds itself using its brain
A monkey has fed itself with fluid, well-controlled movements of a human-like robotic arm by using only signals from its brain, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report.

Scientists in Japan design first optical pacemaker for laboratory research
The world's first optical pacemaker is described in an article published today in Optics Express, the Optical Society's open-access journal.

A new way to look at lung cancer and tobacco carcinogens
Previous studies have shown how polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons damage DNA, with the emphasis on how PAHs bind directly to DNA itself, leading to the mutations in critical genes that cause disease.

Ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen may be equally effective at reducing risk of Alzheimer's disease
Different types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, appear to be equally effective in lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to the largest study of its kind published in the May 28, 2008, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
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