Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 20, 2008
Cervical cancer prevention should focus on vaccinating adolescent girls
The cost-effectiveness of vaccination in the US against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, will be optimized by achieving universal vaccine coverage in young adolescent girls, by targeting initial

Hubble sees magnetic monster in erupting galaxy
The Hubble Space Telescope has found the answer to a long-standing puzzle by resolving giant but delicate filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field around the active galaxy NGC 1275.

Brain surgery is getting easier on patients
Dr. Edward Duckworth is part of a new generation of neurosurgeons who are making brain surgery a lot easier on patients.

Bone marrow stem cells may help control inflammatory bowel disease
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have found that infusions of a particular bone marrow stem cell appeared to protect gastrointestinal tissue from autoimmune attack in a mouse model.

Professional sports stadiums sell alcohol to pseudo-underage and -intoxicated buyers
Alcohol and sports do not mix well. Recent findings show that individuals appearing to be underage and intoxicated can purchase alcohol at professional sports stadiums.

Space age engineers to verify control software for future robotic interplanetary missions
An international team of engineers is to develop mission-critical control software for future European robotic space missions.

Synthetic moleculues could add spice to fight against cancer
Turning up the heat on the red tomato during processing has the potential to give the popular garden staple added disease-fighting power.

New test to diagnose osteoarthritis early
A newly developed medical imaging technology may provide doctors with a long-awaited test for early diagnosis of osteoarthritis, according to researchers.

New 'nano-positioners' may have atomic-scale precision
Engineers have created a tiny motorized positioning device that has twice the dexterity of similar devices being developed for applications that include biological sensors and more compact, powerful computer hard drives.

UNC researcher aims to 'unmask' cancer cells to trigger body's immune system
Cancer cells are deadly traitors, good cells gone bad. They evade the body's defense systems, passing themselves off as organisms that pose no threat.

'Dream team' to tackle profound questions in computer science
Princeton University is the lead institution for a new $10 million National Science Foundation grant that will fund research on

Creating unconventional metals
The semiconductor silicon and the ferromagnet iron are the basis for much of mankind's technology, used in everything from computers to electric motors.

National Academies advisory: Technology development at NASA
A new report from the National Research Council,

Addiction treatment proves successful in animal weight loss study
Vigabatrin, a medication proposed as a potential treatment for drug addiction by scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, also leads to rapid weight loss and reduced food intake according to a new animal study from the same research group.

Polymer electric storage, flexible and adaptable
The proliferation of solar, wind and even tidal electric generation and the rapid emergence of hybrid electric automobiles demands flexible and reliable methods of high-capacity electrical storage.

Joslin study identifies protein that produces 'good' fat
A study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center has shown that a protein known for its role in inducing bone growth can also help promote the development of brown fat, a

Genome of saltwater creature could aid understanding of gene grouping
The genome of the simple saltwater creature Trichoplax has been published in a new study in the journal Nature.

Severe, acute maternal stress linked to the development of schizophrenia
Pregnant women who endure the psychological stress of being in a war zone are more likely to give birth to a child who develops schizophrenia.

Compounds have potential for diagnosis, treatment of Alzheimer's disease
New research suggests that a select group of compounds that interact with a protein in the brain might be used in the early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementia disorders.

September 2008 Biology of Reproduction highlights
The first highlighted paper by Feng et al., shows an experimental analysis framework for the complex sequelae of events that lead to mature gonadotropic function in animals, and the second paper by Veras et al. discusses urban air pollution's association with poor pregnancy outcomes.

Alcohol dependence among women is linked to delayed childbearing
Alcohol use can cause reproductive dysfunctions for both teenage and adult females.

Childhood ear infections may predispose to obesity later in life
Researchers are reporting new evidence of a possible link between a history of moderate to severe middle ear infections in childhood and a tendency to be overweight later in life.

Public involvement in environmental decisions
Legislation and public pressure have led federal agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Agriculture to involve the public in a wide range of environmental decisions.

UQ research touches a nerve
University of Queensland researchers have traced the origins of one of the most important steps in animal evolution -- the development of nerves.

National Alliance to boost disease research
Nine of the nation's leading scientific research institutions will launch a new partnership today to boost Australia's research capacity for tackling major health problems including cancer, diabetes, deafness, infertility, autoimmune disease and arthritis.

Fast quantum computer building block created
The fastest quantum computer bit that exploits the main advantage of the qubit over the conventional bit has been demonstrated by researchers at University of Michigan, US Naval Research Laboratory and the University of California at San Diego.

LSUHSC research reports new method to protect brain cells from diseases like Alzheimer's
New research led by Chu Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neuroscience at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, provides evidence that one of the only naturally occurring fatty acids in the brain can help to protect brain cells from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Biodegradable polymers show promise for improving treatment of acute inflammatory diseases
A family of biodegradable polymers called polyketals and their derivatives may improve treatment for such inflammatory illnesses as acute lung injury, acute liver failure and inflammatory bowel disease by delivering drugs, proteins and snips of ribonucleic acid to disease locations in the body.

Primary care health consultations can be cost-effective and may help reduce cardiovascular risk
Offering health tests and health consultations in primary care settings can be cost-effective, and may help in the fight against the increased burden of lifestyle diseases, according to new research published today in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.

New insights into the regulation of PTEN tumor suppression function
New findings define a pathway that maintains PTEN in the nucleus and offer a novel target for enhancing this gene's tumor suppressive function.

Researchers discover scent of skin cancer
According to new research from the Monell Center, odors from skin can be used to identify basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

Making 'good' fat from muscle and vice versa
A surprise discovery -- that calorie-burning brown fat can be produced experimentally from muscle precursor cells in mice -- raises the prospect of new ways to fight obesity and overweight, report Dana-Farber scientists.

Oetzi the Iceman dressed like a herdsman
A famous Neolithic Iceman is dressed in clothes made from sheep and cattle hair, a new study shows.

Researchers discover how rheumatoid arthritis causes bone loss
Researchers have discovered key details of how rheumatoid arthritis destroys bone, according to a study published in the Aug.

Numerical simulations of nutrient transport changes in Honghu Lake Basin
Nutrients transported from catchments are one of the most important sources for lake eutrophication.

New research suggests diabetes transmitted from parents to children
A new study in the September issue of the Journal of Lipid Research suggests an unusual form of inheritance may have a role in the rising rate of diabetes, especially in children and young adults, in the United States.

Large-scale investment catapults CAMH's mental illness and addiction research forward
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health is proud to announce a landmark investment of $15 million by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

That tastes -- sweet? Sour? No, it's definitely calcium!
Chemists are reporting a discovery that could expand the palate of human tastes, such as sweet, sour or salty, to include a new flavor that could be called

Guideline: Surgery may be considered for extreme face pain
A new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology finds surgery may be considered for people who suffer from extreme, electric shock-like pain in their face and do not respond well to drugs.

Satellite images show continued breakup of 2 of Greenland's largest glaciers
Researchers monitoring daily satellite images here of Greenland's glaciers have discovered break-ups at two of the largest glaciers in the last month.

New drug for cystic fibrosis bypasses genetic defect and improves cell membrane function
A new drug for cystic fibrosis, PTC124, can bypass the genetic defect in the protein-making machinery of patients and improve the functioning of cell membranes that is normally hampered by the condition.

Trees kill odors and other emissions from poultry farms
Trees aren't just for wood and decoration -- they may also destroy odors.

Codeine not safe for all breastfeeding moms and their babies
Using pain treatments which contain codeine may be risky for some breastfeeding mothers, according to researchers at The University of Western Ontario, and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Breaking the 'mucus barrier' with a new drug delivery system
Chemical engineers from Johns Hopkins University have broken the

New book further supports controversial theory of 'Man the Hunted'
Despite popular theories to the contrary, early humans evolved not as aggressive hunters, but as prey of many predators.

NHGRI seeks DNA sequencing technologies fit for routine laboratory and medical use
The National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, today awarded more than $20 million in grants to develop innovative sequencing technologies inexpensive and efficient enough to sequence a person's DNA as a routine part of biomedical research and health care.

A better way to make hydrogen from biofuels
Researchers here have found a way to convert ethanol and other biofuels into hydrogen very efficiently.

How to stop a new type of heart attack
As inconceivable as it might seem, the digital signals used to monitor and adjust implantable medical devices such as pacemakers, could be targeted by malicious hackers.

Study suggests sports stadiums serve alcohol to minors and intoxicated fans
In a novel study looking at the propensity of illegal alcohol sales at sports stadiums, researchers reported that nearly one in five people posing as underage drinkers, and three out of four seemingly intoxicated

China sees spike in rabies cases
A new Chinese study has reported a dramatic spike in rabies infections.

Kent State patent upheld by European courts
A European patent court agrees that Kent State University and Kent Displays own the rights to a flexible liquid crystal display technology invented by professors John West and Deng-Ke Yang.

AJN study reveals compression stockings incorrectly used in 29 percent of patients
An original study, published in the American Journal of Nursing, revealed that graduated compression stockings were used incorrectly in 29 percent of the patients and sized incorrectly in 26 percent of the patients.

Duke chemists synthesize promising anti-cancer product
Duke University chemists have patented an efficient technique for synthesizing a marine algae extract in sufficient quantities to now test its ability to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells while leaving normal cells unaffected.

79 million US adults have medical bill problems or are paying off medical debt
The proportion of working-age Americans who have medical bill problems or who are paying off medical debt climbed from 34 percent to 41 percent between 2005 and 2007, bringing the total to 72 million, according to recent survey findings from the Commonwealth Fund.

Biologists find diatom to reduce red tide's toxicity
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that a diatom can reduce the levels of the red tide's toxicity to animals and that the same diatom can reduce its toxicity to other algae as well.

Acute maternal stress during pregnancy linked to development of schizophrenia
Pregnant women who endure the psychological stress of being in a war zone are more likely to give birth to a child who develops schizophrenia.

PTC124 shows activity in cystic fibrosis; Phase 2 proof-of-concept data published in Lancet
New Phase 2 data published today in the Lancet show that the investigational oral drug PTC124 demonstrates activity in nonsense-mutation cystic fibrosis.

Dartmouth workshop sets research agenda for environmental mercury
Embracing the belief that an interdisciplinary and coordinated research agenda can have a profound impact on advancing science and influencing policy, a group of experts has developed a roadmap for improving our understanding of how mercury moves through the marine ecosystem and into the fish we eat.

First detection of 'odor profile' for skin cancer may lead to rapid, noninvasive diagnostic test
Chemists are reporting the first identification of a specific

$2M grant awarded to University of Kentucky for research on nanoparticles and human health
Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced the award of a $2 million grant to the University of Kentucky to investigate how the sizes and shapes of nanoparticles affect their ability to enter the brain.

Biochemists manipulate fruit flavor enzymes
Would you like a lemony watermelon? How about a strawberry-flavored banana?
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