Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 10, 2008
James Briscoe awarded 2008 EMBO Gold Medal
The European Molecular Biology Organization announced that James Briscoe of the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research will receive the prestigious EMBO Gold Medal for 2008.

Purified stem cells restore muscle in mice with muscular dystrophy
By injecting purified stem cells isolated from adult skeletal muscle, researchers have shown they can restore healthy muscle and improve muscle function in mice with a form of muscular dystrophy.

Novel approach may protect against heart attack injury
Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have manipulated cell activity that occurs during the interruption of blood flow to strongly protect heart tissue in animal studies.

Location, location, location
Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center have solved a mystery that lies at the heart of human learning, and they say the solution may help explain some forms of mental retardation as well as provide clues to overall brain functioning.

Focus on planetary nebulae and spiral galaxies
The project, titled,

Multitasking nanotechnology
Confocal microscope image of a self-assembled monolayer of a polychlorotriphenyl methyl radical patterned on a quartz surface.

Cool, air blown under football shoulder pads reduces body temperature and heart rate, research finds
Cool, dry air flowing between the athlete and their football pads reduces core body temperature and heart rate dramatically, thereby reducing the likelihood of heat-related illness, a study released today at the 2008 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting at JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes shows.

Rutgers research identifies brain cells related to fear
Potentially paving the way for more effective treatments of anxiety disorders, a recent Nature report by Denis Paré, professor at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University, Newark, has identified a critical component of the amygdala's neural network normally involved in the extinction, or elimination, of fear memories.

Detecting smallest contaminations on semiconductors with aid of synchrotron radiation
PTB, together with European partners, is doing research in the field of semiconductor analysis using synchrotron radiation.

Study: Scientists leave the ivory tower
A well-nursed prejudice in scholarly communication is that researchers avoid journalists and are disappointed with the coverage when they do have contact with the media.

Revolutionary chefs? Not likely, shows physics research
However much the likes of Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay might want to shake up our diets, culinary evolution dictates that our cultural cuisines remain little changed as generations move on, shows new research, published today, Thursday, July 10, 2008, in the Institute of Physics' New Journal of Physics.

JCI online early table of contents: July 10, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 10, 2008, in the JCI, including: Why men are more at risk of diseases caused by blood clots than women; Prostate cancer cells cause disease in bones with the help of FGF9; The protein Smad2 keeps skin cancer in check; APRIL showers bring mucosal antibody secreting cells long life; and others.

Link shown between thunderstorms and asthma attacks in metro Atlanta area
In the first in-depth study of its kind ever done in the Southeastern United States, researchers at the University of Georgia and Emory University have discovered a link between thunderstorms and asthma attacks in the metro Atlanta area that could have a

Researchers distinguish waves from mine collapses from other seismic activities
Researchers have devised a technology that can distinguish mine collapses from other seismic activity.

NIH grant to strengthen IU and Purdue program to educate physician-scientists
An Indiana University School of Medicine program that partners with Purdue University to train the next generation of physician-scientists has been given national recognition with a prestigious grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Enzyme key to 'sister act' that maintains genome stability
Keeping the genome stable is a

Scientists across the nation want to emulate MSU's long-term research success
A paper in the July/August issue of the journal BioScience calls for the United States to use a Michigan State University program as a model for agricultural research and set up a network of similar sites across the country.

Middle Eastern families help scientists pinpoint autism genes
The hunt for gene mutations that contribute to autism has proceeded slowly, largely because autism encompasses a spectrum of diseases.

Alcohol's impact on heart and stroke risk may differ for men, women
Heart and stroke risks associated with alcohol use differ among Japanese men and women.

NIST assists in solar stake-out to improve space weather forecasts
About six times each minute for at least five years, a soon-to-be launched NASA satellite will measure the sun's quirky, occasionally violent, output of extreme ultraviolet light.

UGA researchers discover mechanism that explains how cancer enzyme winds up on ends of chromosomes
Researchers at the University of Georgia's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences have shown a mechanism that explains how two essential components of human telomerase -- normally active only in early prenatal development but turned back on during cancer growth -- are

Waves, particles and medicine in Houston
Later this month, thousands of scientists and health professionals from the field of medical physics will meet at the 50th meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Projected California warming promises cycle of more heat waves, energy use for next century
As the 21st century progresses, major cities in heavily air-conditioned California can expect more frequent extreme-heat events because of climate change.

Why men are more at risk of diseases caused by blood clots than women
Being male increases your risk of diseases caused by the inappropriate formation of a blood clot (a process known as thrombosis), such as heart attack and stroke, but the reasons for this are not completely understood.

Integrated tube cap design simplifies access to medication
German pharmaceutical packaging specialist KUTTERER and Austrian enterprise KTW Kunststofftechnik have developed a novel flap closure with integrated desiccant for tablet tubes in the EUREKA-project E!

Wake-up call: Draft security pub looks at cell phones, PDAs
On July 7, NIST published for comment draft guidelines on security considerations for cell phones and PDAs.

Software helps developers get started with PIV cards
NIST has developed two demonstration software packages that show how Personal Identity Verification cards can be used with Windows and Linux systems to perform log-on, digital signing and verification, and other services.

Researchers design model for automated, wearable artificial kidney
Two researchers from UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System have developed a design for an automated, wearable artificial kidney, or AWAK, that avoids the complications patients often suffer with traditional dialysis.

UT Southwestern launches study of surgical option for treating diabetic and other neuropathies
UT Southwestern Medical Center plastic surgeons and specialists in diabetes, neurology, pain management and rehabilitation are launching a cutting-edge study of peripheral nerve surgery to alleviate long-standing pain and numbness in patients with diabetic neuropathy.

Mobilizing white blood cells to the lung: New discovery could lead to an improved influenza vaccine
Findings just published in the scientific journal Immunity by researchers at the Trudeau Institute shed new light on how a previously-unknown messaging mechanism within the human immune system prompts specific influenza-fighting cells to the lung airways during an infection.

Muscle stem cell transplant boosts diseased muscle function and replenishes stem cell pool
Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have demonstrated for the first time that transplanted muscle stem cells can both improve muscle function in animals with a form of muscular dystrophy and replenish the stem cell population for use in the repair of future muscle injuries.

RNA emerges from DNA's shadow
RNA, the transporter of genetic information within the cell, has emerged from the shadow of DNA to become one of the hottest research areas of molecular biology, with implications for many diseases as well as understanding of evolution.

Retina transplants show promise in patients with retinal degeneration
Preliminary research shows encouraging results with transplantation of retinal cells in patients with blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the August issue of American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Software agents in automobile production
Control systems map the entire production flow and make it possible to see the whole factory at a glance.

New hearing aid technology passes the restaurant noise test
The sound of a noisy Chicago restaurant during the breakfast rush -- the clang of plates and silverware and the clamor of many voices -- was the crucial test of new hearing aid technology in a study conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Preventive malaria treatment lowers anemia prevalence and improves attention span of children
Intermittent preventive treatment for malaria lowers anemia prevalence in and improves the attention span of schoolchildren in Africa.

Let's talk about sex -- helping parents raise sexually healthy young people
Parenting programs in the workplace can significantly improve parents' ability to talk with their children about sexual health and may provide a unique way of promoting healthy adolescent sexual behavior, concludes a study published on BMJ.com today.

Online courses boost infection control skills that could prove vital in a pandemic
Staff who took part in a specially designed online infection control course -- in addition to receiving on-the-job training -- said their skills improved by a fifth and led to a number of suggestions and improvements being adopted by their hospital.

Learning to talk to teens about sex -- while at work
Yes, parents can learn to talk to their kids about sex.

Heat switch for fuel filler flaps
Most fuel filler flaps can be released from the inside of the vehicle -- by means of a small motor and numerous screws and springs.

Charcot-marie-tooth disease research funding
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a two-year grant of $220,076 to Williams College assistant professor of biology Lara D.

New NIST pub can help IT managers assess security controls
A new publication released by NIST on June 30 can help information system managers negotiate the often complex process of assessing security controls in their information systems.

Risk of gall bladder disease with HRT patches lower than with HRT pills
Use of hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of gallbladder disease but the effects are less with HRT given in skin patches or gels compared with HRT given orally, according to a study published on BMJ.com today.

Discovery of the source of the most common meteorites
When observing with the GEMINI telescopes, two astronomers from Brazil and the United States discovered for the first time asteroids that are similar to

1/3 of reef-building corals face extinction
A third of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction, according to the first-ever comprehensive global assessment to determine their conservation status.

Researchers detect fake art from originals
As museums continue to digitize their art collections, it becomes increasingly easier for paintings to be forged.

Scientists see bright side of working with media
Once upon a time in the world of science, sharing your work with the press was heresy.

Prostate cancer vaccines more effective with hormone therapy
Among patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, the addition of hormone therapy following vaccine treatment improved overall survival compared with either treatment alone or when the vaccine followed hormone treatment, according to recent data published in the July 15 Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Scientists sneak a peek under the veil of superconductivity
Using very high magnetic fields, scientists observe the underlying structure of mysterious copper-oxide high-temperature superconductors.

Alaskan Eskimos' high rates of artery plaque could be from high smoking
Alaskan Eskimos have higher rates of fatty-plaque lined arteries than other Americans, possibly because they smoke more and are increasing other unhealthy behaviors.

Naturopaths support tougher regulation of complementary medicine
Naturopaths are strongly in favor of regulation of their industry, a University of Queensland researcher has found.

Men and women with history of concussion mend differently, study finds
Female soccer players and soccer players who have had a previous concussion recuperate differently from males or players without a history of concussion, new research released today at the 2008 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes shows.

Researchers unveil near-complete protein catalog for mitochondria
An international team of researchers has created the most comprehensive

Cadaver tissue fails nearly 25 percent of the time in young ACL reconstructions
Choosing the best replacement ligament for surgery is one key to ACL reconstruction success.

Pegylated interferon alfa-2b improves recurrence-free survival in melanoma patients
A chemically modified form of interferon alfa-2b improves recurrence-free survival in melanoma patients compared with observation alone, conclude authors of an article in this week's edition of the Lancet.

James Webb Space Telescope full-scale model coming to COSPAR meeting in Montreal
The full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope resumes its world tour with a stop in Montreal.

Researchers hack final part of the immune system code
A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Biocenter at the Technical University of Denmark have managed to decipher the final part of the immune system's key codes.

A colorful approach to solar energy
Revisiting a once-abandoned technique, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have successfully created a sophisticated, yet affordable, method to turn ordinary glass into a high-tech solar concentrator.

Identifying and disrupting key elements of malaria's 'sticky sack' adhesion strategy
Malaria is one of the most devastating diseases afflicting humanity.

Scientists generally happy with their media interaction
Scientists and journalists get along much better than the anecdotal 'horror stories' would lead us to believe, according to new research published today in the journal Science, which has found that 57 percent of researchers were 'mostly pleased' with their media interaction, while only 6 percent were 'mostly dissatisfied.'

R&D 100 Award for new NIST/UMD neutron detector
A new ultra-sensitive, high bandwidth neutron detector developed by NIST and the University of Maryland will receive one of this year's R-and-D 100 Awards.

Research team draws 150-meter ice core from McCall Glacier
A 150-meter ice core pulled from the McCall Glacier in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge this summer may offer researchers their first quantitative look at up to two centuries of climate change in the region.

Genes that control embryonic stem cell fate identified
UCSF scientists have identified about two dozen genes that control embryonic stem cell fate.

Glenn Foundation for Medical Research commits $5 million to study aging
The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research has announced a $5 million commitment to the American Federation for Aging Research to provide grants to scientists studying the biology of aging and age-related diseases.

Wasps and bumble bees heat up, fly faster with protein-rich food
Good pollen makes bees hot, biologists at UC San Diego have found.

First African-American astronaut who walked in space visits NJIT July 15
The first African American astronaut, Bernard Harris, ExxonMobil engineers and 52 middle school students will design and construct at NJIT small rafts of aluminum and straw designed to hold pennies.

UCSB researcher leads worldwide study on marine fossil diversity
It took a decade of painstaking study, the cooperation of hundreds of researchers, and a database of more than 200,000 fossil records, but John Alroy thinks he's disproved much of the conventional wisdom about the diversity of marine fossils and extinction rates.

Always at your service
Who doesn't long for household help at times? Service robots will soon be able to relieve us of heavy, dirty, monotonous or irksome tasks.

Cancer drug shows promise against graft vs. host disease
A University of Michigan study in mice suggests the drug SAHA, a new antitumor drug, is also able to reduce the effects of graft-versus-host disease, a common, sometimes fatal complication of bone marrow transplants.

Researchers catch ion channels in their opening act
Each thought or action sends a million electrical signals pulsing through your body.

Malaria prevention reduces anemia and improves educational potential in Kenyan schoolchildren
Providing preventive treatment for malaria, given once per term, dramatically reduces rates of malaria infection and anemia among schoolchildren, and significantly improves their cognitive ability, according to new research published today in the Lancet.

Study reveals potential reasons for school absenteeism
A questionnaire of Swiss schoolchildren has revealed the extent of truancy and school fear.

Genetic variations put youth at higher risk for lifetime of tobacco addiction
Common genetic variations affecting nicotine receptors in the nervous system can significantly increase the chance that European Americans who begin smoking by age 17 will struggle with lifelong nicotine addiction, according to researchers at the University of Utah and their colleagues at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

New NOAA coral bleaching prediction system calls for low level of bleaching in Caribbean this year
A new NOAA coral bleaching prediction system indicates that there will be some bleaching in the Caribbean later this year, but the event will probably not be severe.

Not the protein, but its location in the cell, determines the onset of leukemia
Scientists are still searching for the cause of many forms of Leukemia, including T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Comparing apples and pears
Pears and apples contain air pathways to

Wilkins Ice Shelf hanging by its last thread
The Wilkins Ice Shelf is experiencing further disintegration that is threatening the collapse of the ice bridge connecting the shelf to Charcot Island.

Radiation, nanotechnology, health care and more
The HPS 2008 Midyear Topical Meeting of the Health Physics Society, which will take place July 14-17, 2008, in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the David Lawrence Convention Center.

Age-old money matters: Positivity in older adults leads to balanced investments
The economic and psychological term known as

Stanford Bio-X researchers use needle-thin probe to get first look at working muscle fiber
Sarcomeres are key microscopic elements of muscle fiber. Examining them typically requires a painful muscle biopsy that does not offer the opportunity to see the sarcomeres at work within the body.

Middle Eastern families yield intriguing clues to autism
Research involving large Middle Eastern families, sophisticated genetic analysis and groundbreaking neuroscience implicates several new genes in autism.

National Institutes of Health award Williams professor $217,710 research grant
Thomas E. Smith, associate professor of chemistry at Williams College, has been awarded a $217,710 three-year grant by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health for

Now more than ever, improved TB vaccines urgently needed
Despite the advent of the bacille Calmette Guerin vaccine to prevent tuberculosis infection nearly 75 years ago, the vaccine has not managed to reduce disease prevalence, especially in the developing world.

DNA sewing machine
Japanese scientists have made a micro-sized sewing machine to sew long threads of DNA into shape.

Genetic variations increase the risk of life-long nicotine addiction for young smokers
Common genetic variations affecting nicotine receptors in the nervous system can significantly increase the chance that European Americans who begin smoking by age 17 will struggle with life-long nicotine addiction.

Europe's leading pharmacologists to meet in Manchester
Hundreds of leading pharmacologists and bioscientists from across Europe will be in Manchester next week for the 5th Congress of the Federation of European Pharmacological Societies.

Scientists identify genetic basis for the black sheep of the family
Coat color of wild and domestic animals is a critical trait that has significant biological and economic impact.

Good news about $4 gas? Fewer traffic deaths
An analysis of yearly vehicle deaths compared to gas prices found death rates drop significantly as people slow down and drive less.

Water: The forgotten crisis
This year, the world has been hit by both food and energy crises.

Toothpick: New molecular tag IDs bone and tooth minerals
Enlisting an army of plant viruses to their cause, NIST materials researchers have identified a small biomolecule that binds specifically to one of the key crystal structures of the body, the calcium compound that is the basic building block of teeth and bone.

Common mechanisms may underlie autism's seemingly diverse mutations
Many of the seemingly disparate mutations recently discovered in autism may share common underlying mechanisms.

Born in the right place at the right time
Born during the Great Depression and World War Two (1929-1945) -- between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom -- an entire generation has slipped between the cracks of history.

Nano-sized electronic circuit promises bright view of early universe
A newly developed nano-sized electronic device is an important step toward helping astronomers see invisible light dating from the creation of the universe.

Researches identify herpesvirus proteins that target key cellular processes
A study published July 11 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens suggests that herpesviruses use multiple strategies to manipulate important components of the host cell nuclear environment during infection.

MIT opens new 'window' on solar energy
Imagine windows that not only provide a clear view and illuminate rooms, but also use sunlight to efficiently help power the building they are part of.

Polished to perfection
Dentists use special polish to make teeth shiny white again.

Teaching old drugs new tricks
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory discovered a new way to make use of drugs' unwanted side effects.

Report examines impact of forest management practices on water supplies
A new report from the National Research Council,

Zooming in on genetic shuffling
In the current issue of Nature, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, UK, present the most precise map of genetic recombination yet.

NOTES research activities increase with grants from Olympus medical Systems totaling $1 million
The Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research, a joint effort of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, today announced Olympus' continuing commitment to funding research in an emerging transdisciplinary therapy known as Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery, with a $500,000 grant to the existing Olympus Research Fund supporting NOTES research.

Cost of raising a child with special needs: Where does your state rank?
In a study published in Pediatrics, Paul Shattuck, professor at Washington University in St.
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