Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 03, 2008
Local elite rule over small villages in Indonesia
Dutch-sponsored researcher Y. Argo Twikromo has investigated how the local ruling elite have retained their political control over the local population.

Mimic molecules to protect against plague
Bacteria that cause pneumonic plague can evade our first-line defences, making it difficult for the body to fight infection.

Ancient marine invertebrate diversity less explosive than thought
Diversity among the ancestors of such marine creatures as clams, sand dollars and lobsters showed only a modest rise beginning 144 million years ago with no clear trend afterwards, according to an international team of researchers.

Acidifying oceans add urgency to CO2 cuts
It's not just about climate change anymore. Besides loading the atmosphere with heat-trapping greenhouse gases, human emissions of carbon dioxide have also begun to alter the chemistry of the ocean.

Extended cyclone relief efforts aided from space
Earth observation satellites have provided vital information to relief workers in Myanmar throughout a particularly long crisis response window following the devastating Cyclone Nargis that hit the country on May 2 and 3, 2008.

Brain noise is a good thing
Canadian scientists have shown that a noisy brain is a healthy brain.

U-M instrument shows what planet Mercury is made of
By measuring the charged particles in the planet Mercury's magnetic field, a University of Michigan sensor enabled the first observations about the surface and atmospheric composition of the closest world to the sun.

Eclipses again prove key for Einstein
Eclipses in a unique system of two dead stars, called pulsars, has shown that one of the pair is

New study points to agriculture in frog sexual abnormalities
A farm irrigation canal would seem a healthier place for toads than a ditch by a supermarket parking lot.

New research sheds light on the molecular basis of crib death
Sudden infant death syndrome is a condition that unexpectedly and unexplainably takes the lives of seemingly healthy babies aged between a month and a year.

Funding boost in fight against leukaemia
University of Manchester researchers have been awarded £1.6 million to study a group of genes identified as playing a key role in leukaemia.

Red wine ingredient wards off effects of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscle
Large doses of a red wine ingredient can ward off many of the vagaries of aging in mice who begin taking it at midlife, according to a new report published online on July 3 in Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Pioneering stroke researcher awarded Canada's highest honor
Renowned stroke researcher Dr. Vladimir Hachinski has been named to the Order of Canada, the country's highest honor, for his contributions in the field of neurology.

In unique stellar laboratory, Einstein's theory passes strict, new test
Taking advantage of a unique cosmic configuration, astronomers have measured an effect predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity in the extremely strong gravity of a pair of superdense neutron stars.

Infant formula blocks HIV transmission via breastfeeding
A team of researchers from Lavax and the University of Illinois at Chicago, reporting today during the 86th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, is developing a new technology that prevents the infection of HIV by breastfeeding.

New treatment strategy can beat depression in cancer patients (SMaRT oncology 1 trial)
A new care package --

Giving nature a helping hand
Dutch ecologist Marijke van Kuijk has studied the regeneration of the tropical forest in Vietnam.

Microsoft and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announce agreement
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev today announced it has reached an agreement with Microsoft's R&D Center and Microsoft Israel for joint research projects and other collaborative activities.

Potential treatment for TB solves puzzle
Scientists have uncovered a new target for the potential treatment of TB, finally resolving a long-running debate about how the bacterial cell wall is built.

Woman aquires new accent after stroke
A woman in southern Ontario is one of the first cases in Canada of a rare neurological syndrome in which a person starts speaking with a different accent, McMaster University researchers report in the July issue of the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.

Sophisticated communication a prerequisite for people's independence
With the availability of the Internet, citizens are increasingly expected to search themselves for information on security risks in their living environment.

Screening for heart disorders in competitive athletes would save lives
Athletes who take part in competitive sport should be screened for potentially fatal heart problems before they compete, according to a study published online today.

Gender is an issue in kidney transplantation
Female recipients of male donor kidneys have a higher rate of graft failure than other combinations of donor and recipient.

Species have come and gone at different rates than previously believed
Diversity among the ancestors of such marine creatures as clams, sand dollars and lobsters showed only a modest rise beginning 144 million years ago with no clear trend afterwards, according to an international team of researchers.

'Smart' materials get smarter with ability to better control shape and size
A dynamic way to alter the shape and size of microscopic three-dimensional structures built out of proteins has been developed by biological chemist Jason Shear and his former graduate student Bryan Kaehr at the University of Texas at Austin.

Visualizing atomic-scale acoustic wavesin nanostructures
Acoustic waves play many everyday roles -- from communication between people to ultrasound imaging.

Radicals shake up molecules in a tug o' war
Until now, it was commonly thought that colliding molecules get the shakes as the result of energy transfer solely from the smashing of the molecules, but some new research adds a second means by which colliding molecules become vibrationally excited -- it is being called the

Accord on core competency, standards and quality assurance in health promotion and education
In response to the global health crisis, 26 leading authorities in competency-based and accreditation movements in global health promotion, health education, and public health reached an accord last week on what should comprise the domains of core competency in health promotion and health education.

Statins have unexpected effect on pool of powerful brain cells
Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins have a profound effect on an elite group of cells known as glial progenitor cells that are important to brain health as we age, scientists have found.

Simian foamy virus found to be widespread among chimpanzees
Researchers in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Gabon, Germany, Japan, Rwanda, the United Kingdom, and the United States have found that simian foamy virus is widespread among wild chimpanzees throughout equatorial Africa.

Kidney cancer patients given vaccine show no increased survival
Post-operative kidney cancer patients show no increased recurrence-free survival when given the new vitespen vaccine.

Rubber 'snake' could help wave power get a bite of the energy market
A device consisting of a giant rubber tube may hold the key to producing affordable electricity from the energy in sea waves.

'Mind's eye' influences visual perception
Letting your imagination run away with you may actually influence how you see the world.

Tasty meal out of reach
Dutch Rubicon laureate Chris Smit has concluded that small mammals, such as rabbits and mice, play a major role in the development of natural diversity.

Prevalence of religious congregations affects mortality rates
LSU associate professor of sociology Troy C. Blanchard recently found that a community's religious environment -- that is, the type of religious congregations within a locale -- affects mortality rates, often in a positive manner.

UCLA researchers clarify function of glucose transport molecule
UCLA scientists have solved the structure of a class of proteins known as sodium glucose co-transporters, which pump glucose into cells.

Nanostructures improve bone response to titanium implants
Titanium implants were successfully introduced by P.-I. Brånemark and co-workers in 1969 for the rehabilitation of edentulous jaws.

Mercury's surface dominated by volcanism and iron-deficiency
Multispectral data on the composition of rock untis of the surface of Mercury show a widespread role for volcanism and an apparent deficiency in iron in the rocks' minerals.

Scientists set out to measure how we perceive naturalness
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory are working towards producing the world's first model that will predict how we perceive naturalness.

Geologists push back date basins formed, supporting frozen Earth theory
Even in geology, it's not often a date gets revised by 500 million years.

AGU Journal Highlights -- July 3, 2008
In this issue:

Stem cells from umbilical cord used in the treatment of hepatic diseases
Researchers of the University of Granada and the University of León (Spain) have proved that human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells can be an effective alternative to bone marrow.

Nature reserves attract humans, but at a cost to biodiversity
Countering a perception that establishing nature reserves in developing nations drives away local communities, a new UC Berkeley study finds that human settlements are actually drawn to protected areas in Africa and Latin America.

Unique stellar system gives Einstein a thumbs-up
The only double-pulsar system yet found provides the extremely strong gravitational field and a fortunate geometrical arrangement needed to measure an effect predicted by Einstein's General Relativity theory.

Volcanic activity shaped Mercury after all
A research team led by Brown University planetary geologist James Head has determined that volcanism played a central role in forming Mercury's surface.

Organizing an Earth Systems Science Agency
In an article published today in the journal Science, a group of former senior federal officials call for the establishment of an independent Earth Systems Science Agency to meet the unprecedented environmental and economic challenges facing the nation.

Disclosing violence to primary care or obstetrics/gynecology physicians most beneficial
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center found that patients who disclose intimate partner violence to their clinicians of any type did not experience serious harm.

New drugs for Crohn's disease
A range of new and developing treatments for Crohn's disease are targeting not only on the autoimmune response associated with the condition, but also aiming to reinforce the intestinal barrier.

Great Ape Trust's Wich lead author of Oryx paper on continuing orangutan population declines
Endangered wild orangutan (Pongo spp.) populations are declining more sharply in Sumatra and Borneo than previously estimated, according to new findings published this month by Great Ape Trust of Iowa scientist Dr.

Long-term study of middle-aged mice shows
Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of aging such as type 2 diabetes, is included among a research team that reported in today's online edition of Cell Metabolism that mice treated at middle-age to the end-of-life with resveratrol showed an overall health improvement, including improved bone health, a reduction in cataracts and cardiovascular dysfunction, and improved balance and motor coordination.

Einstein was right, McGill astrophysicists say
Researchers at McGill University's Department of Physics -- along with colleagues from several countries -- have confirmed a long-held prediction of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, via observations of a binary-pulsar star system.

Malaria on the increase in the UK
A huge rise in the numbers of UK residents travelling to malaria endemic areas, combined with a failure to use prevention measures, has significantly increased cases of imported falciparum malaria in the UK over the past 20 years, according to a study published online.

Resveratrol found to improve health, but not longevity in aging mice on standard diet
Scientists have found that the compound resveratrol slows age-related deterioration and functional decline of mice on a standard diet, but does not increase longevity when started at middle age.

Partners in peace
International organizations frequently have high expectations about their interventions. Dutch researcher Mathijs van Leeuwen's work on peacebuilding reveals the need to exhibit modestly and to link into local agendas.
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