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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 29, 2008

Word/logic bank to help build 'thinking' machines
Information scientists have announced an agreement on a
HIV and illicit drug use -- a new way forward?
The United Nations needs to rethink its strategy on dealing with HIV and illicit drugs this year, concludes a comment published in this week's edition of the Lancet, authored by Joanne Csete, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Daniel Wolfe, Open Society Institute, New York.
Active social life may delay memory loss among US elderly population
In a new study, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that elderly people in the US who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline.
A molecular 'salve' to soothe surface stresses
Researchers at NIST have shown for the first time that a single layer of molecular 'salve' can significantly soothe the stresses affecting clean metal surfaces.
Rewriting Greenland's immigration history
The first immigrants in Greenland were not Indians from the North American continent or Canadian Inuit as previously suggested.
Together couples address challenges associated with vulvar pain disorder
A new study in Family Process explores ways to cope with the emotional, relational, and sexual challenges of vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.
A chunky metabolism
Elhanan Borenstein, Santa Fe Institute/Stanford University, with Anat Kreimer, Uri Gophna, and Eytan Ruppin of Tel Aviv University, constructed metabolic networks of many species of bacteria and measured how much those networks broke into pieces, or modules.
Environmental peace treaty between Israel and Palestinians unveiled at Ben-Gurion University
A model for an agreement on environmental cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians was unveiled this week at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
7 in 10 patients surveyed hadn't heard of the Summary Care Record
Patients' attitudes to the summary care record and HealthSpace.
Special supplement on self-monitoring of blood glucose in diabetes technology & therapeutics
Subjects with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who self-monitor their blood glucose levels more frequently and use the results to adjust treatment regimens can achieve improved glucose control, according to a collection of state-of-the-art reports that comprise a Special Supplement to the June 2008 issue of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
ACP releases framework for policies enabling access to affordable health insurance coverage
A framework for policies that would enable all Americans to have access to affordable health insurance coverage was released today by the American College of Physicians.
Diabetes doubles liver cancer risk for patients with advanced hepatitis C
Patients who have chronic hepatitis C with advanced fibrosis have twice the risk of developing liver cancer if they also have diabetes.
June GEOSPHERE media highlights
The June issue of GEOSPHERE, published by the Geological Society of America, is now available online.
Listen to Phoenix descend
With data recorded on board Mars Express, you can hear Phoenix descend on to the surface of the Red Planet.
Proves that children suffering from cancer, and their families, undergo social isolation
The study, developed by the Department of Anthropology of the University of Granada, reveals the need for a more comprehensive attention, in accordance with both the children and their mothers' specific needs.
Smokers with advanced colon cancer may face higher odds of disease recurrence
People with advanced colon cancer who have smoked cigarettes or used other tobacco products for many years may have an increased risk that their colon cancer will return, according to research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists.
Scientists discover stinging truths about jellyfish blooms in the Bering Sea
A new study helps explain a cyclic increase and decrease of jellyfish populations, which transformed parts of the Bering Sea -- one of the United States' most productive fisheries -- into veritable jellytoriums during the 1990s.
Young mineral scientists rock!
What's going on in the Earth's core, why are there magnetic anomalies in rocks, how is water incorporated in minerals, and how do pearls grow?
Amazonian indigenous culture demonstrates a universal mapping of number onto space
The ability to map numbers onto a line, a foundation of all mathematics, is universal, says a study published this week in the journal Science, but the form of this universal mapping is not linear but logarithmic.
Ohio State receives $34M NIH grant
Medical researchers at The Ohio State University, in partnership with Nationwide Children's Hospital, have received a $34 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a Center for Clinical and Translational Science at Ohio State.
Lack of dental care may have life-threatening implications
New research from the University of Bristol shows that admissions for the surgical treatment of dental abscess have doubled in the last ten years despite the fact that these serious, potentially life-threatening, infections are preventable with regular dental care.
Novocastrian's generosity to improve health care
A proud Novocastrian, Mr. Don Barker, has generously funded two PhD scholarships to provide career opportunities for two Hunter researchers working on projects that will improve the health of local people.
Dehydrated tomatoes show promise for preventing prostate cancer
New research suggests that the form of tomato product one eats could be the key to unlocking its prostate cancer-fighting potential, according to a report in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Warm coronal loops offer clue to mysteriously hot solar atmosphere
Scientists at NASA reveal a new understanding of the mysterious mechanism responsible for heating the outer part of the solar atmosphere, the corona, to million degree temperatures.
Children's diet not the main cause of ADHD
Food may not be the major cause of hyperactivity in children; genetics, brain function and parental actions such as smoking may be just as important.
New method effective in detecting dangerous coronary plaque
A new noninvasive method has shown success in detecting and measuring noncalcified plaque, a buildup of soft deposits embedded deep within the walls of the heart's arteries, undetectable by angiography or cardiac stress tests -- and prone to rupture without warning.
Enzyme may hold key to improved targeting of cancer-fighting drugs
Building on their earlier research into neocarzinostatin, a team of researchers from Boston College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, discovered that one of the enzymes contained in the bacteria used to produce the drug may hold promise in creating newer, more stable compounds from the structurally complex class of antibiotic known as chromoproteins.
How to make microwaves on a chip to replace X-rays for medical imaging and security
Is microwave radiation the nondestructive imaging technology of the future?
Combination of 2 novel anti-cancer agents may help fight CML resistant to current therapy
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have identified that a combination of novel anti-cancer compounds is able to kill chronic myelogenous leukemia cells previously resistant to conventional forms of therapy.
Black patients with terminal cancer more likely to choose aggressive care at end of life
Black patients with advanced cancer were more likely than whites to die in a hospital intensive care unit, reflecting a greater preference among blacks for life-extending treatment even in the face of a terminal prognosis, according to a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Protons pair up with neutrons
Research performed at the US Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has found that protons are about 20 times more likely to pair up with neutrons than with other protons in the nucleus.
Fatty liver linked to increased risk of diabetic kidney disease
For patients with type 2 diabetes, a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may be an important risk factor for diabetes-related chronic kidney disease, according to a study in the August Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Carnegie Mellon computer model reveals how brain represents meaning
Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have taken an important step toward understanding how the human brain codes the meanings of words by creating the first computational model that can predict the unique brain activation patterns associated with names for things that you can see, hear, feel, taste or smell.
Dental implants preferred option for aging bridges
Aging dental bridges are a maintenance headache and a recipe for oral-health disaster.
Printed biochips
Peptide arrays are powerful tools for developing new medical substances as well as for diagnosis and therapy techniques.
Johns Hopkins researchers develop human stem cell line containing sickle cell anemia mutation
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have established a human cell-based system for studying sickle cell anemia by reprogramming somatic cells to an embryonic stem cell like state.
Poor spellers with good phonetic skills are more often right-handed
Children who can read and have good phonetic skills -- the ability to recognize the individual sounds within words -- may still be poor spellers.
International Diabetes Federation grant supports Jordanian diabetes micro-clinic project
Over 250 million people worldwide live with diabetes, many in the Middle East.
Nanoparticles assemble by millions to encase oil drops
In a development that could lead to new technologies for cleaning up oil spills and polluted groundwater, scientists at Rice University have shown how tiny, stick-shaped particles of metal and carbon can trap oil droplets in water by spontaneously assembling into bag-like sacs.
NIH researchers find that Rett syndrome gene is full of surprises
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health has transformed scientists' understanding of Rett syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes autistic behavior and other disabling symptoms.
Students' device allows ICU patients to get back on their feet
Johns Hopkins undergraduates have designed and built a device to enable critically ill intensive care unit patients to leave their beds and walk while remaining tethered to essential life-support equipment.
NYU dental researcher finds link between pregnancy and tooth loss
Women who have more children are more likely to have missing teeth, according to a nationwide study of 2,635 women by Dr.
Inflammation, depression and antidepressant response: Common mechanisms
In findings published electronically in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers from University of Miami found polymorphisms in inflammation-related genes that are associated with susceptibility to major depression and antidepressant response.
Study suggests chemotherapy diminishes fertility in breast cancer patients
Pre-menopausal breast cancer survivors who were treated with chemotherapy following surgery were more likely to have diminished ovarian reserve -- the capacity of the ovaries to provide eggs capable of being fertilized -- compared to women who have never had breast cancer, according to a study led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators.
No sex, but plenty of gene transfer
Massive horizontal gene transfer -- from bacteria, fungi, even plants -- into bdelloid rotifer genomes may help explain how this aquatic animal has evolved in the absence of sex, as reported by researchers at the MBL, Woods Hole, in this week's Science.
Cumulative radiation exposure shows increased cancer risk for emergency department patients
According to a new study, patients are receiving estimated doses of radiation from medical diagnostic imaging studies, such as CT scans, that may be detrimental to their long term health, putting them at an increased risk of developing cancer.
UBC, McGill researchers uncover 'stirring' secrets of deadly supervolcanoes
Researchers from the University of British Columbia and McGill University have simulated in the lab the process that can turn ordinary volcanic eruptions into so-called
New geomorphological index created for studying the active tectonics of mountains
To build a hospital, nuclear power station or a large dam you need to know the possible earthquake risks of the terrain.
St. Jude finds young age may give survival advantage to children with certain brain tumors
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have shown that children under 3 years old who have a brain tumor called diffuse pontine glioma appear to have a better outcome than older children with the same cancer.
NIH awards $25M clinical research grant to Indiana U for statewide initiative
NIH has awarded a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award of $25 million to the Indiana University School of Medicine, which will fund CTSI activities at IU and Purdue.
ESMO Conference Lugano
The ESMO Conference Lugano is an educational event aimed to disseminate the major recent advances in oncology in an innovative format designed to particularly cater to the interest of young oncologists.
NASA targets GLAST launch for June 5
The launch of NASA's GLAST spacecraft aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Thursday, June 5.
The traditional Mediterranean diet protects against diabetes
Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: prospective cohort study.
The coming convergence
Physicist and well-known writer Stanley Schmidt, Ph.D., uses his scientific knowledge and expertise to demonstrate the many ways in which two seemingly unrelated technologies converge to create the innovations of today's world.
Trend in increased survival in pancreatic cancer patients given axitinib warrants phase III trials
Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer given axitinib in addition to the standard treatment of gemcitabine show a trend towards increased survival compared with those given gemcitabine alone.
Green firms rewarded by financial markets
A new study appearing in Strategic Management Journal reveals that financial markets reward firms for going green because those firms are seen as less risky.
X chromosome exposed
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, UK, have revealed new insights into how sex chromosomes are regulated.
Even low levels of air pollution may pose stroke risk
A new study investigated the association between short-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter and the risk of stroke.
OHSU Cancer Institute researchers find many stomach cancer patients are not gertting best therapy
New findings from Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute show significant numbers of patients nationwide who are not getting the recommended therapy after surgery to remove stomach cancer.
The Rett gene -- a rogue activator
In 1999, when Dr. Huda Zoghbi and her Baylor College of Medicine colleagues identified a mutation of the gene MeCP2 as the culprit in Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, the discovery was only the prelude to understanding a symphony of neurological missteps.
Wireless vision implant
About 30 million people around the world have grown legally blind due to retinal diseases.
Bilateral cochlear implants: A case when 2 are definitely superior to 1
A study of cochlear implant patients seen by Indiana University School of Medicine physicians is the first research to show evidence that cochlear implants in both ears significantly improves quality of life in patients with profound hearing loss and that the cost of the second implant is offset by its benefits.
Blacks, Hispanics less likely than whites to receive follow-up radiation for early breast cancer
Black and Hispanic women are less likely than white women to receive the radiation therapy routinely prescribed following surgery for early breast cancer, according to a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Fruit fly helps identify protein critical to eggshell formation that may be pesticide target
The common fruit fly circling your week-old peach has helped scientists zero in on a protein critical to the insect's eggshell formation.
UC Santa Cruz physicists eagerly await launch of NASA space telescope they helped build
When NASA launches its newest space observatory, physicists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will be watching as the product of nearly 16 years of hard work blasts into orbit.
Doula support during labor reduces cesarean rates and epidurals
A new study in Birth reports that doulas provide benefits for women in childbirth, even when male partners are present.
Relaxation exercises sharpens shooting in biathlon
Biathletes who have learned to apply a relaxation technique can improve their results in the rifle-shooting range.
Staying sharp in Phoenix: Leading brain experts discuss successful aging
Brain function and health will be the focus of the Staying Sharp session on June 3 at Grace Inn in Phoenix.
NIH awards Einstein College of Medicine & Montefiore Medical Center $22M grant
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center one of its coveted Clinical and Translational Science Awards totaling $22 million over five years.
Altruism in social insects is a family affair
The contentious debate about why insects evolved to put the interests of the colony over the individual has been reignited by new research from the University of Leeds, showing that they do so to increase the chances that their genes will be passed on.
NOAA scientist elected to the Royal Society
NOAA Senior Scientist Susan Solomon, whose pioneering research has helped explain the cause of the ozone hole and for her leadership as co-chair of Working Group 1 for the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, has been elected as a foreign member of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom.
Society for Prevention Research meeting features new research on issues affecting youth
Researchers present latest findings on variety of topics, including obesity, alcohol use, drug abuse and violence among youth.
New federally funded health initiative to speed benefits of science to North Carolinians
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $61 million National Institutes of Health grant that will help speed up how scientific discoveries directly benefit patients in communities across North Carolina.
Engineers whip up the first long-lived nanoscale bubbles
With the aid of kitchen mixers, engineers at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have whipped up, for the first time, permanent nanoscale bubbles -- bubbles that endure for more than a year -- from batches of foam made from a mixture of glucose syrup, sucrose stearate and water.
The crack as a tool
We encounter glass everywhere -- as window and facade glazing, coffee-table tops and shelving.
Post-menopausal therapy to improve women's quality of life
A recent research work by the University of Granada advises post-menopausal women the use of Replacement Hormone Therapy for at least five years.
New projects to raise UK profile in synthetic biology
UK Research Councils have announced funding for projects to rapidly build the UK's expertise and capacity in the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Mars' water appears to have been too salty to support life
A new analysis of the Martian rock that gave hints of water on the Red Planet -- and, therefore, optimism about the prospect of life -- now suggests the water was more likely a thick brine, far too salty to support life as we know it.
New West Nile and Japanese encephalitis vaccines produced
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have developed new vaccines to protect against West Nile and Japanese encephalitis viruses.
Reduced access to NHS dentistry to blame for dramatic increase in dental abscesses?
Is there an epidemic of admissions for surgical treatment of dental abscesses in the UK?
Scattered light reveals size and shape of the nucleus
A new technology based on the interpretation of light reflected off cells will make it faster and more efficient for researchers to document how the nucleus, which contains a cell's DNA and controls its actions, changes shape in response to its environment.
Rapid wound healing
A new type of wound dressing made of silica gel fibers will soon help to heal difficult wounds caused by burns or diabetes.
Why rebel groups attack civilians
In civil war, rebel groups often target civilians despite the fact that their actual target is the government and that they are often dependent on the support of the civilian groups they attack.
Quality of life predicts cancer survival, U-M study finds
Head and neck cancer patients who reported lower physical quality of life were more likely to die from their disease, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
New CT technology offer roadmap to quicker, cheaper chest pain screening in emergency rooms
Eight million Americans visit US emergency departments for chest pain each year.
Oral prednisolone can be used to treat gout
The corticosteroid drug prednisolone is as effective at treating gout arthritis as naproxen, a conventional treatment.
Medical simulation bill before Congress; identify key priority areas
Medical simulation, a training process in which medical practitioners use realistic artificial environments to practice medical skills and procedures, is currently the subject of a bill before congress related to enhancing federal support for simulation initiatives nationwide.
Help for simulation-tools and stroke patients
Jörg Willems has made an important contribution to our understanding of multi-scale problems in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.
The structure of XPD sheds light on cancer and aging
The protein XPD is one component of an essential repair mechanism that maintains the integrity of DNA.
NIH expands national consortium dedicated to transforming clinical and translational research
Fourteen academic health centers in 11 states are the latest members of the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium.
How defects in 1 gene cause 3 distinct and devastating human diseases
By studying heat-loving microbes, two research teams have gained new insight into how seemingly small differences in a single protein involved in DNA transcription and repair can lead to strikingly different genetic disorders in humans.
Bridging the math gender gap
New research published in the journal Science demonstrates that girls perform better in mathematics in more gender equal societies, in some cases besting male peers.
New HIV browser gives researchers access to valuable data from vaccine trials
A new HIV data browser developed by the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the nonprofit organization Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases will give researchers access to a wealth of data collected during clinical trials of an AIDS vaccine.
New CITES quotas allow more caviar export, further jeopardize endangered sturgeon
In a decision that could jeopardize already imperiled sturgeons, more caviar will be exported from Caspian Sea and Amur River states this year as a result of unacceptably permissive new trade quotas announced by CITES.
Florida EMS and fire vehicles to stock Cyanokit 5g antidote for cyanide poisoning
The Florida Department of Health, Office of Emergency Operations, will stock Cyanokit 5g antidote for cyanide poisoning in the state's emergency medical service and fire vehicles through a federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
UCLA/VA scientists identify genetic cause for a type of childhood epilepsy
UCLA/VA researchers have discovered the genetic cause of a type of childhood epilepsy called childhood absence epilepsy, which accounts for 10-12 percent of epilepsy cases in children under age 16.
Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism presents firefighter health study
The Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism will present a human clinical study at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, showing that wildland firefighters who consumed a yeast based antioxidant supplement, Wellmune WPG, had far fewer -- 23 percent -- upper respiratory tract infections, compared to a similar group of firefighters taking a placebo.
New metamaterial proves to be a 'perfect' absorber of light
Boston College and Duke University researchers have engineered a new metamaterial that uses its unique geometric surface features to
Did walking on 2 feet begin with a shuffle?
A pair of researchers have developed a model that suggests shuffling emerged millions of years ago as a precursor to walking on two feet as a way of saving metabolic energy by a common ancestor of today primates.
Certain form of tomatoes could be key to prostate cancer prevention
New cancer research from the University of Missouri suggests that eating a certain form of tomato product could be the key to unlocking the prostate cancer-fighting potential of the tomato.
Sudden unexpected death in infancy could be linked to bacterial infection
The high levels of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacteria found during post-mortems in otherwise unexplained cases of sudden unexpected death in infancy suggest these bacteria could be associated with this condition.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity -- TEEB
At CBD COP 9 today, May 29, a interim report setting out a
Harvard Medical School receives major NIH grant for galvanizing translational science
Harvard Medical School has been awarded a five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health to launch a center that will transform patient-oriented medical research at the School and create an unprecedented level of unity and communication across the University's disparate schools and affiliated medical centers.
Forest canopies help determine natural fertilization rates
In this week's issue of Science, a team of researchers from the United States and Sweden report on a newly identified factor that controls the natural input of new nitrogen into boreal forest ecosystems.
Acute artificial compound eyes
Insects are a source of inspiration for technological development work.
Appealing the death sentence for brain cells
A Tel Aviv University researcher's drug candidate could provide protection against Alzheimer's disease.
ASTRO announces 2008 gold medalists
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology has selected the recipients of the 2008 Gold Medal, the highest honor that ASTRO bestows.
2 for 1: NIST design enables more cost-effective quantum key distribution
Researchers at NIST have demonstrated a simpler and potentially lower-cost method for distributing cryptographic keys using quantum cryptography, the most secure method of transmitting data.
A common aquatic animal's genome can capture foreign DNA
Long viewed as straitlaced spinsters, sexless freshwater invertebrate animals known as bdelloid rotifers may actually be far more promiscuous than anyone had imagined: Scientists at Harvard University have found that the genomes of these common creatures are chock-full of DNA from plants, fungi, bacteria and animals.
BUMC, BMC receives Clinical and Translational Science Award from NIH
The National Institutes of Health have awarded one of 14 Clinical and Translational Science Awards for 2008 to a team based at Boston University Medical and Charles River Campuses and Boston Medical Center.
BUMC provost, BUSM dean, to be honored at world's largest meeting of oncology professionals
Weston resident Karen H. Antman, M.D., provost of Boston University Medical Campus and dean of Boston University School of Medicine, will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Leadership by the American Society of Clinical Oncology at their annual meeting in Chicago this weekend.
Reforestation using exotic plants can disturb the fertility of tropical soils
A research program recently conducted by an IRD team and its partners found new clues for understanding the influence of exotic species on the biodiversity of communities of mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobial soil bacteria.
Fireflies' glow helps UT Southwestern researchers track cancer drug's effectiveness
The gene that allows fireflies to flash is helping researchers track the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs over time.
Penn researchers gain new insights on spinal muscular atrophy
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that the effect of a protein deficiency, which is the basis of the neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy, is not restricted to motor nerve cells, suggesting that SMA is a more general disorder.
A molecular switch turns on the flame in 'nature's blowtorch'
Uncontrolled reaction of organic compounds with oxygen is easy: we call it fire.
OHSU Cancer Instutute researchers find abnormalities in gene for melanoma
New research from the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute about mutations in melanoma may bring a wellspring of hope to many patients.
Exercise cuts cancer death in men
Men who exercise often are less likely to die from cancer than those who don't exercise, according to a new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet.

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