Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 28, 2008
Treadmill exercise retrains brain and body of stroke victims
People who walk on a treadmill even years after stroke damage can significantly improve their health and mobility, changes that reflect actual

Memory trick shows brain organization
A simple memory trick has helped show UC Davis researchers how an area of the brain called the perirhinal cortex can contribute to forming memories.

Addressing the inequalities of health: A new and vital mandate
The lead editorial in this week's Lancet is tied to the launch of of the final report by WHO's Commission on Social Determinants of Health, chaired by Michael Marmot from University College London, UK.

2008 congress in Nice heralds fusion of ELSO with EMBO
The four full days of cutting-edge molecular life science research on display in Nice this week mark the seventh and last ELSO congress.

New giant clam species offers window into human past
Researchers report the discovery of the first new living species of giant clam in two decades.

Research Ethics Committees identify and correct problems in applications to do cancer trials
Study suggests Research Ethics Committees provide an important independent check on clinical trials.

Health of Afghan children jeopardized by family behaviors, not just war
Family values and ongoing conflict within the country are dramatically affecting the health of young children in Afghanistan.

Location, location, location important for genes, too
To better understand how cells become cancerous, a new study by Ohio State University cancer researchers looks at four genes that help regulate cell growth in embryos and contribute to cancer in adults.

'Armored' fish study helps strengthen Darwin's natural selection theory
Shedding some genetically induced excess baggage may have helped a tiny fish thrive in freshwater and outsize its marine ancestors, according to a UBC study published today in Science Express.

Magmatically triggered slow earthquake discovered at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
From June 17-19, 2007, Kilauea experienced a new dike intrusion, where magma rapidly moved from a storage reservoir beneath the summit into the east rift zone and extended the rift zone by as much as 1 meter.

New beta-blocker to offer hope to heart and lung sufferers
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have been awarded £2.8 million by the Wellcome Trust to develop a new drug that could ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of heart disease patients who are unable to take beta-blockers.

Springer bee expert Juergen Tautz wins prize for public communication
Juergen Tautz will receive a special discretionary prize as part of the 2008 European Molecular Biology Organization Award for Communication in the Life Sciences.

Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging to be published by Springer
As of January 2009, the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging will be listed in the journals catalogue of the scientific publisher Springer.

No more big stink: scent lures mosquitoes, but humans can't smell it
Mosquito traps that reek like latrines may be no more.

Antidepressants need new nerve cells to be effective, UT Southwestern researchers find
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered in mice that the brain must create new nerve cells for either exercise or antidepressants to reduce depression-like behavior.

Explosives go 'green'
Certain explosives may soon get a little greener and a little more precise.

'Pristine' Amazonian region hosted large, urban civilization, study finds
They aren't the lost cities early explorers sought fruitlessly to discover.

Study shows more genes are controlled by biological clocks
Researchers at the University of Georgia report that the number of genes under control of in living things than suspected only a few years ago.

Biophysical method may help to recover hearing
Scientists based in Switzerland and South Africa have created a biophysical methodology that may help to overcome hearing deficits, and potentially remedy even substantial hearing loss.

Recent advances make cervical cancer control in developing world feasible for first time
Recent advances in cervical cancer prevention mean that controlling the disease in developing countries is becoming feasible for the first time, experts say.

HIV patients at greater risk for bone fractures
HIV-infected patients have a higher prevalence of fractures than non HIV-infected patients, across both genders and critical fracture sites according to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Feats of strength begin a lizard's day
Male Jamaican anole lizards begin and end the day with displays of reptilian strength -- push-ups, head bobs and extensions of a colorful neck flap, or dewlap -- to defend their territory, according to a new study.

Clearing the airways in cystic fibrosis
By manipulating the machinery used by our cells for quality control, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have found a way to restore the function of cystic fibrosis (CF) airway cells.

Will screening for cardiovascular problems be effective?
Last week the government in England closed its consultation on the effectiveness of vascular checks for high-risk individuals aged 40-74, to be rolled out in 2009-10, but will this strategy be worthwhile?

Barrow researchers identify a new approach to detect the early progression of brain tumors
Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center recently participated in a pilot study with the Montreal Neurological Institute that suggests a certain type of MRI scanning can detect when a patient is failing brain tumor treatment before symptoms appear.

Why are flies so hard to swat? Chock it up to good planning
Ever wonder how flies are so incredibly good at zipping off to avoid that swatter?

All types of antipsychotic drugs increase the risk of stroke
All drugs used to treat psychosis are linked to an increased risk of stroke, and dementia sufferers are at double the risk, according to a study published on today.

Queen's researchers provide solution to world's worst mass poisoning case
A solution to the world's worst case of ongoing mass poisoning, linked to rising cancer rates in Southern Asia, has been developed by researchers from Queen's University Belfast.

Upping the tax on pre-mixed spirits -- a step in the right direction?
Whilst the Australian government should be applauded for increasing the tax on premixed spirits, the authors of a comment in this week's edition of the Lancet say it should be part of a battery of strategies to reduce both binge and excessive drinking.

Breaking harmful bonds
Everybody loves the way eggs slide off of Teflon pans.

Unexpected large monkey population discovered
A WCS report reveals surprisingly large populations of two globally threatened primates in a protected area in Cambodia.

Jumping for joy ... and stronger bones
High impact activities such as jumping and skipping that can easily be incorporated into warm-ups before sports and physical education classes, have been shown to benefit bone health in adolescents.

Ceramic material revs up microwaving
Quicker microwave meals that use less energy may soon be possible with new ceramic microwave dishes and, according to the material scientists responsible, this same material could help with organic waste remediation.

Heart disease risk of low-dose radiation exposure cannot be ignored
While the cancer risks of radiation exposure are well documented, much more research is needed into the effects of low-dose radiation on cardiovascular risk.

Class of diabetes drugs carries significant cardiovascular risks
A class of oral drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may make heart failure worse, according to an editorial published online in Heart Wednesday by two Wake Forest University School of Medicine faculty members.

Book on virtual teams signed by Wiley
Now that global industry generates products in every corner of the world, employees must be skilled, not only interacting with co-workers in an office down the hall, or at a neighboring facility, but often they must collaborate with team members in other states, other countries, and in ever more distant time zones.

Antarctic research helps shed light on climate change on Mars
Eroded gullies on the flanks of Martian craters may have been formed by snowmelt as recently as a few hundred thousand years ago and in sites once occupied by glaciers.

Tiny 3-D ultrasound probe guides catheter procedures
An ultrasound probe small enough to ride along at the tip of a catheter can provide physicians with clearer real-time images of soft tissue without the risks associated with conventional X-ray catheter guidance.

TGen scientists uncover new field of research that could help police in crime scene forensics
A team of investigators led by scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute have found a way to identify possible suspects at crime scenes using only a small amount of DNA, even if it is mixed with hundreds of other genetic fingerprints.

Arctic ice on the verge of another all-time low
Following last summer's record minimum ice cover in the Arctic, current observations from ESA's Envisat satellite suggest that the extent of polar sea-ice may again shrink to a level very close to that of last year.

A novel approach in the molecular differentiation of prion strains
A team from the French Food Safety Agency, Lyon, France, has identified a prion protein characteristic that is unique to some natural but unusual sheep scrapie cases.

UC team studies link between Parkinson's disease and depression
A patient who receives a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease might become depressed, and understandably so.

Risk of repeat attacks in heart patients causes concern for doctors
The risk of heart attack patients having repeat attacks after they are discharged from hospital is being underestimated, research has shown.

Study says eyes evolved for X-Ray vision
The advantage of using two eyes to see the world around us has long been associated solely with our capacity to see in 3-D.

Rapid changes in key Alzheimer's protein described in humans
For the first time, researchers have described hour-by-hour changes in the amount of amyloid beta, a protein that is believed to play a key role in Alzheimer's disease, in the human brain.

Saving lives through smarter hurricane evacuations
Hundreds of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars could potentially be saved if emergency managers could make better and more timely critical decisions when faced with an approaching hurricane.

Katrina and Rita provide glimpse of what could happen to offshore drilling if Gustav hits Gulf
Shortly after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the US, Rice University civil and mechanical engineering professor Satish Nagarajaiah studied damage done to offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Robots learn to follow
Researchers at UC Davis have come up with a control system that allows a robot to pick up on cues that the leader is about to turn, predict where it is going and follow it.

Bitter-tasting nectar and floral odors optimize outcrossing for plants
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology have discovered how the chemistry of nectar and floral scents enforces good pollinator behavior, enabling plants to optimize the production of out-crossed seeds.

Variant of mad cow disease may be transmitted by blood transfusions, according to animal study
Blood transfusions are a valuable treatment mechanism in modern medicine, but can come with the risk of donor disease transmission.

Endocrine Society releases guideline on diagnosis and treatment of primary aldosteronism
The Endocrine Society has released a new clinical practice guideline for the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with primary aldosteronism.

Life under the laser
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have developed a unique technology that will allow scientists to look at microscopic activity within the body's chemical messenger system for the very first time, live as it happens.

Caltech scientists discover why flies are so hard to swat
Over the past two decades, Michael Dickinson has been interviewed by reporters hundreds of times about his research on the biomechanics of insect flight.

Crystals improve understanding of volcanic eruption triggers
Scientists have exploited crystals from lavas to unravel the records of volcanic eruptions.

National security remedies among topics at surveillance confab
Presenting new research about national, home and business security systems and measures, a conference established by a University of Houston professor and his colleagues has become the premier forum for the research community when it comes to surveillance.

Great Ape Trust graduate student's paper sheds light on bonobo language
What happens when linguistic tools used to analyze human language are applied to a conversation between a language-competent bonobo and a human?

Caterpillar, Inc. funds USC 'print-a-house' construction technology
Caterpillar, the world's largest manufacturer of construction equipment, is starting to support research on the

Risk of fracture is significantly higher in HIV-infected patients
As antiviral treatment for HIV infection allows patients to live longer, many will be confronted with additional health challenges. 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