Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 07, 2008
Structural biology spin-out tackles major diseases
A spin out company from basic structural biology has led to new technology that provides a way of creating therapeutic proteins to tackle major diseases such as cancer, diabetes and infertility.

No-nose bicycle saddles improve penile sensation and erectile function in bicycling police officers
A new study examines if no-nose bike seats would be effective in alleviating the harm caused by using a traditional seat.

Study sees need for standardized evaluation of antibody response to HIV-1
US Military HIV Research Program researcher Victoria R. Polonis, Ph.D., and colleagues released findings on a study of cross-clade neutralization patterns among HIV-1 strains from six major clades in the June 5, 2008, issue of Virology.

NASA grant funds space radiation research
To increase understanding of SEP transport, Ming Zhang, Ph.D., Florida Tech professor of physics and space sciences and his collaborators Hamid K.

UTSA Minority Basic Research Support Rise program awarded $519,000
The University of Texas at San Antonio's Minority Basic Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS/RISE) program has been awarded $519,000 from the National Institutes of Health to assist underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science.

UCSB receives collection of aerial photography valued at $14.3 million
More than 500,000 aerial images -- a pictorial odyssey spanning 65 major metropolitan areas in the United States at the turn of the 21st century -- has been donated to UC Santa Barbara by Pacific Western Aerial Surveys, of Santa Barbara.

Midge-hunting scientists tackle spread of devastating bluetongue virus
Scientists at the BBSRC-funded Institute for Animal Health are stepping up the battle against the devastating and economically damaging bluetongue virus.

Pacific shellfish ready to invade Atlantic
As the Arctic Ocean warms this century, shellfish, snails and other animals from the Pacific Ocean will resume an invasion of the northern Atlantic that was interrupted by cooling conditions three million years ago.

Newborns should be allowed to take part in multiple studies with appropriate safeguards
Newborn infants should be allowed, with their parents' consent, to take part in multiple clinical studies unless there is evidence that this would undermine the biological or scientific validity of that research or compromise the care, safety, or legal rights of an individual infant or impose an unacceptable burden on the parents.

Clean 3-way split observed
A study in Science shows for the first time that a molecule can break into three identical parts in one step.

Multi-tasking molecule holds key to allergic reactions
As the summer approaches most of us rejoice, reach for the sunscreen and head outdoors.

People with heart disease still have trouble controlling blood lipid levels
Despite some improvements to lower

Study helps pinpoint genetic variations in European Americans
An international team of researchers has identified just 200 positions within the curves of the DNA helix that they believe capture much of the genetic diversity in European Americans, a population with one of the most diverse and complex historic origins on Earth.

New survey: 82 percent of Americans think health care system needs major overhaul
Americans are dissatisfied with the US health care system and 82 percent think it should be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt, according to a new survey released today by the Commonwealth Fund.

NYU researchers demonstrate activity of mebendazole in metastatic melanoma
Researchers at the NYU Cancer Institute and the Ronald O.

Mutation found in dachshund gene may help develop therapies for humans with blindness
Cone-rod dystrophies are a group of eye diseases caused by progressive loss of the photoreceptor cells in the retina.

Pre-cancerous condition linked to chronic acid reflux faces several hurdles
UK researchers address challenges in treating Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition found in some sufferers of chronic acid reflux disease, and call for better disease models and diagnostic markers.

Parents can be reassured that death after febrile seizures is very rare, even in high-risk children
Long-term mortality is not increased in children with febrile seizures -- although there seems to be a doubling of mortality during the two years after complex febrile seizures.

Putting microRNAs on the stem cell map
Short snippets of RNA called microRNAs help to keep embryonic stem cells in their stem cell state.

Robotics research: Enhancing the lives of people with disabilities
Robots may be the solution for people with disabilities who are struggling to regain the use of their limbs, thanks to a research team that includes engineers and students from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Beyond PTEN: Alternate genes linked to breast, thyroid and kidney cancer predisposition
A new discovery may lead to more effective screening and treatment for patients with a difficult to recognize syndrome characterized by tumor-like growths and a high risk of developing specific cancers.

CERN announces start-up date for LHC
CERN has today announced that the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider will be made on Sept.

TORC at UH turns to virtual world of Second Life for new study
The University of Houston department of health and human performance is launching an international effort to recruit 500 participants for a study promoting healthy dietary habits and physical activity.

Daley and colleagues create 20 disease-specific stem cell lines
Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Stem Cell Program at Children's Hospital Boston have produced a robust new collection of disease-specific stem cell lines, all of which were developed using the new induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technique.

Scientists replicate diseases in the lab with new stem cell lines
Researchers have converted cells from individuals with ten different diseases, including muscular dystrophy, juvenile diabetes and Parkinson's disease, into stem cells.

Climate change: When it rains it (really) pours
Climate models have long predicted that global warming will increase the intensity of

UGA gets $2.5 million in grants to study plants to make biofuels
University of Georgia researchers were recently awarded two grants totaling $2.5 million to help find better ways to produce biofuels from switchgrass and sunflowers.

Likely cause of postpartum blues and depression identified
Unique biochemical crosstalk that enables a fetus to get nutrition and oxygen from its mother's blood just may cause common postpartum blues, researchers say.

Children's Hospital Oakland publishes first of its kind pediatric rehabilitation journal
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland continues to lead the way in pediatric rehabilitation with the creation of a new medical journal focused on children and teenagers.

A new light on the brains of people with borderline personality disorder
In a game of give and get, the brains of people with borderline personality disorder often don't get it.

Attention grabbers snatch lion's share of visual memory
Our visual memory is not as good as we may think, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust -- but it can be used more flexibly than scientists previously thought.

Individual personal ties strengthen teams' overall creativity
A new article explores how creative ideas develop and spread among a team, increasing its ability to think creatively.

Michael J. Fox Foundation PD Therapeutics Conference
This is the only major scientific symposium exclusively focused on drug discovery and development for Parkinson's disease.

Researchers halt spread of HIV with RNAi
Using a novel method to deliver small molecules called siRNAs into T cells, researchers dramatically suppressed HIV in the first-ever animal model that mirrors progression of the disease in humans.

Mathew L. Thakur receives 2008 Benedict Cassen Prize for research in nuclear medicine
Mathew L. Thakur, a molecular imaging pioneer who has helped change the shape of modern medicine, was awarded the 2008 Benedict Cassen Prize during SNM's 55th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La.

Pathogen that causes disease in cattle also associated with Crohn's disease
People with Crohn's disease are seven-fold more likely to have in their gut tissues the bacterium that causes a digestive-tract disease in cattle called Johne's disease.

For the birds or for me? Why do conservationists really help wildlife?
Volunteers who take part in conservation efforts may do it more for themselves than the wildlife they are trying to protect.

No evidence to support 'organic is best'
Organically grown food does not contain more major and trace elements than conventionally grown produce according to new research in SCI's Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Arrival method, slow response often delay stroke care
Most stroke patients can't recall when their symptoms started or do not arrive at the hospital in a timely manner, so they cannot be considered for time-dependent therapies such as the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), researchers reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

B cells can act alone in autoimmune disease, Yale researchers report
B cells, the source of damaging autoantibodies, have long been thought to depend upon T cells for their activation and were not considered important in the initiation of autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Common infertility treatments are unlikely to improve fertility
Long-established medical interventions to help couples with infertility problems do not seem to improve fertility, according to a study published online today.

Researchers discover how tumor suppressor inhibits cell growth
New work by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine describes the mechanism by which p53 regulates cells and protects them against DNA damage that might lead to cancer.

Trigger for brain plasticity identified
Researchers have long sought a factor that can trigger the brain's ability to learn -- recapturing the

Study offers new insight on HIV transmission risk of men who have sex with men
Approximately half of all new HIV infections in the United States result from the sexual risk behaviors of men who have sex with men.

Medical doctors who do research could be a dying breed
The road from disease research to disease cure isn't usually a smooth one.

Researchers find cancer-inhibiting compound under the sea
University of Florida researchers have discovered a marine compound off the coast of Key Largo that inhibits cancer cell growth in laboratory tests.

Fingerprints provide clues to more than just identity
Fingerprints can reveal critical evidence, as well as an identity, with the use of a new technology developed at Purdue University that detects trace amounts of explosives, drugs or other materials left behind in the prints.

New computer simulations show how special the solar system is
Prevailing theoretical models attempting to explain the formation of the solar system have assumed it to be average.

'Silencing' HIV with small bits of RNA
Researchers have shown that they can effectively tackle HIV-1 with small bits of gene-silencing RNA by delivering them directly to infected T cells, the major targets of the virus.

Now that's cool
Researchers at the University of Maryland are using meta-materials, which mimic the behavior of ice, but are created out of completely different substances, to and figure out why water ice doesn't completely conform to the Third Law of Thermodynamics.

Complete Neandertal mitochondrial genome sequenced from 38,000-year-old bone
A study reported in the August 8 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, reveals the complete mitochondrial genome of a 38,000-year-old Neandertal.

JCI online early table of contents: August 7, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, August 7, 2008, in the JCI: Possible new treatment for psoriasis; Why gene therapy caused leukemia in some

Compressor-free refrigerator may loom in the future
Refrigerators and other cooling devices may one day lose their compressors and coils of piping and become solid state, according to Penn State researchers who are investigating electrically induced heat effects of some ferroelectric polymers.

Clinical Research Management gets contract for trials of therapeutics against infectious diseases
Clinical Research Management, Inc., Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University will work together under a seven-year contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to perform Phase I Clinical Trials for therapeutics against infectious diseases.

'Edible optics' could make food safer
Tufts University scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to design biologically active, biodegradable optical devices -- made from silk and requiring no refrigeration -- with many applications in medicine, health, the environment and communications.

Scripps scientists will assess Beijing Olympics air pollution control efforts
Flying downwind from Chinese mainland, unmanned aerial vehicles will measure emissions of soot and other forms of black carbon during China's

Gender stereotypes contradicted when negotiating
A new study reveals that when trying to make a good impression, people may behave in ways counter to gender stereotypes.

New survey explores the impact of insulin injections on people with diabetes
The American Association of Diabetes Educators today announced results from a survey conducted by Harris Interactive highlighting communication between people with diabetes that require insulin injections and their health-care providers.

Computer scientist aims for a better-networked military
Patrick Crowley, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at Washington University in St.

Forward step in forecasting global warming
Arizona State University researchers say brown carbons -- a nanoscale atmospheric aerosol species -- are being overlooked when scientists put together computer models for climate studies.

Extreme appeal: voters trust extreme positions more than moderate ones, study finds
Trying to appear moderate is not always the best strategy for capturing votes during an election, reveals a new study.

NSF hosts the second US-China computer science leadership summit
Approximately 15 professors, deans and other professionals in the computing sciences from the People's Republic of China came to Arlington, Va., last month for a summit with their U.S. counterparts.

A gene for sexual switching in melons provides clues to the evolution of sex
A newly discovered function for a hormone in melons suggests it plays a role in how sexual systems evolve in plants.

Veterinarians adapt human tests for monkeys
A medical test developed to detect an overload of iron in humans has recently been adapted to screen for the condition in some distant relatives: diminutive monkeys from South America, according to veterinarians at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

UT Health Science Center researchers study diet and autism
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