Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 17, 2008
Vaccine for koala chlamydia close
Eighteen female koalas treated with an anti-chlamydia vaccine are showing positive results, giving QUT scientists hope they have an answer to the disease that is threatening the survival of koalas in the wild.

Loss of stability of the AHI1-HAP1 complex an issue in Joubert syndrome
Joubert syndrome is an inherited brain disorder characterized by loss of muscle tone, developmental delay, and mental retardation.

IAVI statement in response to NIAID decision not to move forward with PAVE 100 HIV Vaccine Trial
Today, the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced that it will not go ahead with the proposed Phase IIb AIDS vaccine trial known as PAVE 100.

Natural selection may not produce the best organisms
While natural selection favors the most fit organisms around, evolutionary biologists have long wondered whether this leads to the best possible organisms in the long run.

Study on government's controversial choice of HPV vaccine
The UK government may save up to £18.6 million a year by deciding to use the HPV vaccine Cervarix, given that it is equally effective as the more expensive Gardasil in preventing cervical abnormalities, according to a study published online today.

$10.9M NCI grant for studies of virus cancer models
A team of researchers from Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University's College of Veterinary Medicine have received a $10.9 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to further their studies of retrovirus-associated cancer.

New roadside beautification concept studied
Travel America's highways or drive down any city street this summer and you'll probably see them.

Insight into mechanisms of diabetes-induced microvascular disease reveals new therapies
New findings from Bristol scientists could lead to future treatments to prevent lower limb amputations in diabetes -- which currently affect 100 people a week in the UK.

Digital cameras, remote satellites measure crop water demand
Determining growth stage, size, and water needs are especially important for horticultural crops because most crops are grown in limited water environments and require irrigation.

From humming fish to Puccini: Vocal communication evolved with ancient species
It's a long way from the dull hums of the amorous midshipman fish to the strains of a Puccini aria -- or, alas, even to the simplest Celine Dion melody.

Novel computational model describes the speed at which HIV escapes the immune response
Researchers from Utrecht University, The Netherlands, have developed a model that illustrates how HIV evades the immune system.

Doctors are key to tackling knife violence, says expert
Every hospital emergency department should share information about violent incidents with local crime reduction agencies to tackle the problem of knife crime, says an expert in this week's BMJ.

Lionfish decimating tropical fish populations, threaten coral reefs
The invasion of predatory lionfish in the Caribbean region poses yet another major threat there to coral reef ecosystems -- a new study has found that within a short period after the entry of lionfish into an area, the survival of other reef fishes is slashed by about 80 percent.

Early study reveals promising Alzheimer's disease treatment
A drug once approved as an antihistamine in Russia improved thinking processes and ability to function in patients with Alzheimer's disease in a study conducted there, said an expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

When fish talk, scientists listen
New research on the midshipman fish, a close relative of the toadfish, indicates that that the ability to make and respond to sound is an ancient part of the vertebrate success story.

Heart attack not a death sentence
Survivors of cardiac arrest who received intensive care can expect long-term quality of life at reasonable expense to the health care system.

Global warming experts recommend drastic measures to save species
An international team of conservation scientists from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, including University of Texas at Austin professor Camille Parmesan, call for new conservation tactics, such as assisted migration, in the face of the growing threat of climate change.

Researchers discover a gene that regulates and blocks ovulation
A group of Canadian and European researchers have unlocked the mystery of a gene with the potential to both regulate and block ovulation.

Second national scorecard on US health care system finds no overall improvement
A new national scorecard from The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System finds that the US health care system has failed to improve overall and that scores on access have declined significantly since the first national scorecard in 2006.

A single boulder may prove that Antarctica and North America were once connected
A lone granite boulder found against all odds high atop a glacier in Antarctica may provide additional key evidence to support a theory that parts of the southernmost continent once were connected to North America hundreds of millions of years ago.

A viral cloaking device
Viruses achieve their definition of success when they can thrive without killing their host.

Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology now published by Elsevier
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce an agreement to publish the Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology.

Negative perception of blacks rises with more news watching, studies say
Watching the news should make you more informed, but it also may be making you more likely to stereotype, says a University of Illinois researcher.

New indicator uncovered that can predict coral health
A new indicator of coral health has been discovered in a community of microscopic single-celled algae called dinoflagellates.

Michael J. Fox Foundation awards $2.4M for validation of therapeutic targets for Parkinson's
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research today announced approximately $2.4 million in total funding to nine research teams under its Target Validation initiative.

Iceberg scour affects biodiversity
Antarctic worms, sea spiders, urchins and other marine creatures living in near-shore shallow habitats are regularly pounded by icebergs.

Fresh from the grapevine to the table
Table grapes are subject to serious water loss and decay while making the long trip from the vine to dinner tables around the world.

Guidelines highlight key differences between child and adult stroke
This is the first guidance on stroke in children from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Measures to help species cope with climate change?
Many species must move to new areas to survive climate change.

How cells die determines whether immune system mounts response
Every moment we live, cells in our bodies are dying.

NHGRI funds next step in understanding biological roots of common diseases
The National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health, today announced grants expected to total about $31 million over the next four years for research aimed at gaining a better understanding of how specific genetic variants act to influence the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other common diseases.

Dimebon significantly improves Alzheimer's symptoms
The drug dimebon significantly improves the clinical course of Alzheimer's disease patients with mild-to-moderate disease, conclude authors of an article published in this week's Dementia Special Edition of the Lancet.

Liver unit reports higher than average success rate for children receiving living donor transplants
Ninety-six percent of children who received liver transplants from living relatives were still alive five years after surgery.

Argonne researchers win 2 R&D 100 Awards
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and their industrial partners have won two R&D 100 Awards for innovative fluid sealing and lithium-ion battery technologies.

'Nanosculpture' could enable new types of heat pumps and energy converters
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a new technique for growing single-crystal nanorods and controlling their shape using biomolecules.

Bridging the digital divide at ESOF 2008, Europe's largest interdisciplinary science conference
HINARI Access to Research Initiative announced today that at 2:30 p.m.

Cancer researchers call for ethnicity to be taken into account
Breast cancer research needs to investigate how a person's ethnicity influences their response to treatment and its outcome, according to a new Comment piece in today's Lancet.

Could arthritis wonder drugs provide clues for all disease?
Drugs that have helped treat millions of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may hold the key to many more medical conditions, including atherosclerosis -- a leading cause of heart disease -- says the researcher who jointly invented and developed them.

Researchers discover primary sensor that detects stomach viruses
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the primary immune sensor that detects the presence of stomach viruses in the body.

NIAID will not move forward with the PAVE 100 HIV Vaccine Trial
After soliciting and considering broad input from the scientific and HIV advocacy communities, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has determined that it will not conduct the HIV vaccine study known as PAVE 100.

EPA releases report on climate change and health
The US Environmental Protection Agency has released a report that discusses the potential impacts of climate change on human health, human welfare, and communities in the US The report, entitled

Saving the wild orchids of Borneo
Borneo (Kalimantan) is the third largest island in the world.

Elderly falls cut by 11 percent with education and intervention
Commonly viewed as an inevitable consequence of aging and often ignored in clinical practice, falls among the elderly were cut by 11 percent when researchers at Yale School of Medicine used a combination of fall prevention educational campaigns and interventions aimed at encouraging clinicians to incorporate fall-risk assessment and management into their practices.

MIT-led team creates touch-based illusion
Anyone who has seen an optical illusion can recall the quirky moment when you realize that the image being perceived is different from objective reality.

Surges of trust hormone between mother and infant are created by dendrites
Researchers from China, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, have created a model that shows exactly how, when a baby suckles at a mother's breast, it starts a chain of events that leads to a surge of the

The aorta is torn apart in the Marfan syndrome
A severe complication of the Marfan syndrome is that the aorta may split and be torn apart.

Second flight for ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang
ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang from Sweden has been assigned as a mission specialist onboard the 11-day STS-128 mission, currently scheduled for launch with Space Shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station on July 30, 2009.

As rates rise, researchers find better way to identify melanoma
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers found a new protein produced excessively in malignant melanoma, a discovery that is particularly relevant as skin cancer rates climb dramatically among young women.

Calcium may be the key to understanding Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have shown that mutations in two proteins associated with familial Alzheimer's disease disrupt the flow of calcium ions within neurons.

Saltwater olives
News that olives are sources of

A new system for better handling of lab samples
EUREKA project E! 3527 PMS has developed an automated system for clean and maintenance-free transport, storage and retrieval of large numbers of medical samples.

Predicting the distribution of creatures great and small
In studying how animals change size as they evolve, biologists have unearthed several interesting patterns.

UNC, Caltech research finds further evidence for genetic contribution to autism
Some parents of children with autism evaluate facial expressions differently than the rest of us -- and in a way that is strikingly similar to autistic patients themselves, according to new research by psychiatrist Dr.

Researchers find a partially shared genetic profile between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be disabling conditions, and both present clinically with significant mood and psychotic symptoms.

Weill Cornell science briefs June/July 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.

Study shows cost-effectiveness of 64-slice CT scanner in emergency department chest pain patients
A recent study led by Rahul Khare, M.D., emergency department physician and assistant director of operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of utilizing a CT scanner to evaluate low-risk chest pain patients in the emergency room.

UC San Diego launches Institute of Engineering in Medicine to accelerate health care tech
The world's top engineers, physicians and scientists are joining forces to conceptualize, develop and bring to reality the future tools and treatments of 21st century health care through UC San Diego's new Institute of Engineering in Medicine.

UC's Lowell talks about latest in Younger Dryas work in Science article
UC professor of geology Tom Lowell has authored an article in the July 18 edition of Science, discussing the latest research into determining the impact of the Younger Dryas event on the Southern hemisphere.

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine funds Cedars-Sinai stem cell research
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has awarded a planning grant to the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute to support its researchers in their study of regenerative stem cell-based approaches to heart attacks, congestive heart failure and pacing abnormalities.

Bullying-suicide link explored in new study by researchers at Yale
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found signs of an apparent connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide in children, according to a new review of studies from 13 countries published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health.

Researchers explore the genetic basis of social behavior in ants
In a new study, researchers have shed light on the numbers and types of genes that may control social organization in fire ant colonies.

Complex questions asked by defense lawyers linked to convictions in child abuse trials
Defendants in child abuse cases are more likely to be convicted if their defense lawyer uses complicated language when interrogating young victims according to new research out of the University of Toronto and the University of Southern California.

Yale researchers discover remnant of an ancient 'RNA world'
Some bacterial cells can swim, morph into new forms and even become dangerously virulent -- all without initial involvement of DNA.

Virulence factor that induces fatal Candida infection identified
Singapore scientists found that certain substances from bacteria living in the human intestine cause the normally harmless Candida albicans fungus to become highly infectious.

Advance brings low-cost, bright LED lighting closer to reality
Researchers have overcome a major obstacle in reducing the cost of

JCI online early table of contents: July 17, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 17, 2008, in the JCI, including:

Research publications online: Too much of a good thing?
The Internet gives scientists and researchers instant access to an astonishing number of academic journals.

Tree branching key to efficient flow in nature and novel materials
Nature, in the simple form of a tree canopy, appears to provide keen insights into the best way to design complex systems to move substances from one place to another, an essential ingredient in the development of novel

IUPUI professor's reburial of Native American remains earns international award
An early career decision by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Larry J.

Obsessive compulsive disorder linked to brain activity
Researchers at Cambridge University Department of Psychiatry have discovered that people with OCD and their close family members show under-activation of brain areas responsible for stopping habitual behaviour.

Hydrogen vehicles making impressive progress toward commercialization
A transition to hydrogen vehicles could greatly reduce US oil dependence and carbon dioxide emissions, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council, but making hydrogen vehicles competitive in the automotive market will not be easy.

Genetic variant increases triglyceride levels in Asian-Americans
A genetic variant found almost exclusively in individuals of Asian descent increases the risk of elevated plasma triglycerides over four-fold.

Apolipoprotein ratios are better than cholesterol ratios at determining heart attack risk
The ratio of two forms of apolipoprotein in the blood is substantially better at predicting heart attack risk than the standard method of using cholesterol ratios.

American Heart Association set to launch fifth new journal
Reflecting the growing emphasis on evidence-based cardiology practice, the American Heart Association has announced a September premier for Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Doctors' orders lost in translation
When patients are discharged from the emergency department, their recovery depends on carefully following the doctors' instructions for their post care at home.

Discovery of a new signaling mechanism may lead to novel anti-inflammatory therapy
A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has uncovered a new signaling mechanism used to activate protein kinases that are critical for the body's inflammatory response.

Chalk and talk
Writing in the International Journal of Management in Education from Inderscience Publishers, US researchers provide a template for educational establishments hoping to offer online education rather than traditional chalk and talk classes.

First full 3-D view of cracks growing in steel
Researchers from the United Kingdom and France have revealed how a growing crack interacts with the 3-D structure of stainless steel.

Heading circulatory disease off at the pass
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have devised an ultrasound imaging technique that picks up subtle early evidence of peripheral arterial disease that current conventional tests miss.

Study: Migrant laborers valuable to horticulture industry
Despite tremendous growth in mechanization and technological advances, nursery, greenhouse, and sod production in the US are still extremely labor-intensive.

Too much, too little sleep increases ischemic risk in postmenopausal women
Sleeping nine hours or more a night significantly increases the risk for ischemic stroke among post menopausal women.

USP Chief Science Officer Darrell Abernethy to receive ACCP Distinguished Service Award
The US Pharmacopeial Convention is pleased to announce that its chief science officer, Darrell Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., will be honored with the American College of Clinical Pharmacology's Nathaniel T.

New approach to cancer: Find most tightly controlled genes
Scientists at a Duke University medical school in Singapore have found a new way to study cancer that could be very useful for developing targeted therapies against tumors and possibly many other diseases.

Super-resolution X-ray microscopy
A novel super-resolution X-ray microscope developed by a team of researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) and EPFL in Switzerland combines the high penetration power of x-rays with high spatial resolution, making it possible for the first time to shed light on the detailed interior composition of semiconductor devices and cellular structures.

Academy publishes first biography of artist-naturalist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
The first full-length biography of 19th century British artist-naturalist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins is published by the Academy of Natural Sciences.

AVAC comments on NIAID decision not to move forward with PAVE 100 Trial
AVAC today urged Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to act swiftly to clarify the path ahead suggested by the announcement that the proposed PAVE 100 AIDS vaccine trial would not go forward but that a smaller trial of the same candidate would be considered.

Scientists demonstrate the sharpest measurement of ice crystals in clouds
Scientists have created an instrument designed to help determine the shapes and sizes of tiny ice crystals typical of those found in high-altitude clouds, down to the micron level (comparable to the tiniest cells in the human body), according to a new study in Optics Letters, a journal published by the Optical Society.

Using genetics to improve traditional psychiatric diagnoses
Prior versions of DSM followed the path outlined by Emil Kraeplin in separating these disorders into distinct categories.

Suckling infants trigger surges of trust hormone in mothers' brains
Researchers from the University of Warwick, in collaboration with other universities and institutes in Edinburgh, France and Italy, have for the first time been able to show exactly how, when a baby suckles at a mother's breast, it starts a chain of events that leads to surges of the

Mini ECG gets heart attack rehab patients mobile
QUT scientists have teamed a mobile phone with a miniature heart monitor and a GPS device in research aimed at tackling the low participation rates of heart patients in cardiac rehabilitation.

Reclaimed wastewater benefits Florida's citrus orchards
The Sunshine State has seen rapid growth in population during the last 50 years.

Immunization with AB42 does not prevent dementia despite clearing associated brain plaques
Although immunization against the amyloid-β peptide can clear amyloid plaques in the brain, it does not prevent the progressive neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The benefits of a little resistance for older adults
University of Queensland research is showing the benefits of resistance training in keeping older Australians in tip top form.

Old eyes can learn new tricks; findings offer hope for adults with 'lazy eye'
New evidence that the brain regions responsible for vision are capable of adapting in adults offers new hope for those with an untreated condition commonly known as lazy eye.

Good breeding increases shelf life
The lettuce cut and packaged for food service and salad mixes is an increasingly important component of the produce industry. 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