Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 03, 2008
UCR researchers propose minocycline as a promising drug for patients with Fragile X syndrome
A UC Riverside-led team of biomedical scientists has found that a readily available drug called minocycline, used widely to treat acne and skin infections, can be used to treat Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental impairment and the most common cause of autism.

Study: Government accommodates rich and poor alike
The election year is in full swing, complete with allegations of class warfare and claims about which candidates cater to the rich and which candidates will best serve the interests of the poor and the middle class.

SNM releases new fact sheet on breast cancer and molecular imaging
Coinciding with the observance of Nuclear Medicine Week (Oct. 5 to 11) and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), SNM released today a new fact sheet highlighting recent developments in molecular imaging technologies that are dramatically improving the ways in which breast cancer is diagnosed and treated.

New study on effects of disclosing financial interests on participation in medical research
Knowing how an investigator is paid for running a research study surprisingly plays a small role in patients' willingness to take part in clinical trials.

More research needed to make good on biofuel promise, experts say
While cellulosic biofuels derived from grasses, crop residues and inedible plant parts have real potential to be more efficient and environmentally friendly than grain-based biofuels like corn ethanol, more research and science-based policies are needed to reap these benefits, says an international group of experts.

4 Stevens professors receive top Bright Idea Awards
Four professors at Stevens Institute of Technology have been selected to receive the Bright Idea Award, sponsored by the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University and the NKPRO Foundation, the public policy research affiliate of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

Combined minimally invasive procedures offer new option for lumbar degenerative scoliosis
Surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Institute for Spinal Disorders have combined three innovative minimally invasive spine surgery procedures to treat spinal curvature in adults, a common consequence of aging.

UT Southwestern selected as study center for National Children's Study
UT Southwestern Medical Center has been chosen as a study center participant in the National Children's Study, which will examine the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child and adult health.

Egalitarian revolution in the Pleistocene?
Although anthropologists and evolutionary biologists are still debating this question, a new study, published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, supports the view that the first egalitarian societies may have appeared tens of thousands of years before the French Revolution, Marx and Lenin.

Agricultural research highlighted in Houston
More than 8,000 international scientists are meeting at Houston's George R.

The geology of the Civil War
Historians have spent decades analyzing the military actions of the Civil War.

US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Esin Gulari, dean of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University, to serve on the National Science Board.

Phasing out smoking and solid fuel use in China could avert 32 million deaths in next 25 years
Many millions of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and tuberculosis could be averted in China if smoking and biomass and coal fuel use in homes were phased out over the next 25 years.

Study unveils structural details of enzyme vital to DNA repair
Working in close collaboration, two groups of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have revealed for the first time details of the crucial role played by the enzyme Mre11 in DNA repair, a process critical to cell survival and good health.

Survey confirms parents' fears, confusion over autism
The first national survey of attitudes toward autism reveals that a small but significant percentage of people still believe the disease is caused by childhood vaccines.

Discovery of a type of aerosols from Sahara which will be useful to study climate change
Scientists from Granada have named iberulites certain spheric mineral aggregates smaller than a millimeter which come from Central Africa (Sahara desert and Sahel countries) to the Iberian Peninsula swept away through the air, and which had not been identified previously.

Arctic sea ice annual freeze-up underway
After reaching the second-lowest extent ever recorded last month, sea ice in the Arctic has begun to refreeze in the face of autumn temperatures, closing both the Northern Sea Route and the direct route through the Northwest Passage.

Viewers will receive greatest benefit in presidential town hall debate
The candidates will be joined by dozens of

UNC and N.C. roles expanded in landmark children's health and development study
The National Institutes of Health has added three more areas of North Carolina and is expanding the role played by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a long-term, wide-ranging study of the nation's children.

Gas from the past gives scientists new insights into climate and the oceans
In recent years, public discussion of climate change has included concerns that increased levels of carbon dioxide will contribute to global warming, which in turn may change the circulation in the Earth's oceans, with potentially disastrous consequences.

UT Health Science Center at Houston to have key role in largest US children's study
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston will play a key role in local recruitment for the largest child health study in the United States.

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley announce India energy R&D program
The US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have announced a joint research and development program in which researchers will work with the government and private sector of India to develop paths toward reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining sustained economic growth.

Space tech helps to reach long-jump world record
German athlete Wojtek Czyz, running with a space-tech enhanced prosthetic leg, set a new world record at the Paralympics 2008 in Beijing, reaching an amazing 6.50 meters and beating the previous world record by 27 centimeters.

Discovery of natural compounds that could slow blood vessel growth
sing computer models and live cell experiments, biomedical engineers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered more than 100 human protein fragments that can slow or stop the growth of cells that make up new blood vessels.

Smoking and solid fuel use in homes in China projected to cause millions of deaths
If current levels of smoking and biomass and coal fuel use in homes continues, between 2003 and 2033 there will be an estimated 65 million deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 18 million deaths from lung cancer in China, accounting for 19 percent and 5 percent of all deaths in that country during this period.

World's biggest computing grid launched
The world's largest computing grid is ready to tackle mankind's biggest data challenge from the earth's most powerful accelerator.

Bee swarms follow high-speed 'streaker' bees to find a new nest
How does a swarm of bees find its way to a new nest site when less then 5 percent of the community knows the way?

Newly identified cells make fat
The discovery of an important fat precursor cell may explain how changes in the numbers of fat cells might increase and lead to obesity.

Shift in bald eagle diet linked to sea otter decline
A newly published study has found that the decline of sea otters along Alaska's Aleutian Islands has forced a change in the diet of a terrestrial predator -- the bald eagle.

Professor H. Quynh Dinh awarded a Honda Initiation Grant
Professor H. Quynh Dinh, from Stevens Institute of Technology's Computer Science department, has been awarded a Honda Initiation Grant sponsored by the Honda Research Institute for her proposal,

NASA picks ASU research team to guide study of search for life
The quest for habitable worlds has focused on searching for water, but

Why your boss is white, middle-class and a show-off
The way male managers power dress, posture and exercise power is due to humans' evolutionary biology, according to research from the University of New South Wales.

Decline in Alaskan sea otters affects bald eagles' diet
Sea otters are known as a keystone species, filling such an important niche in ocean communities that without them, entire ecosystems can collapse.

Oklahoma researchers support biodiversity in biofuels production
US and European mandates for subsidies of cellulosic ethanol production and use have uncertain environmental consequences according to an international group of scientists which includes researchers from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

Medical student gender and self-confidence
Despite performing equally to their male peers in the classroom and the clinic, female medical students consistently report decreased self-confidence and increased anxiety, particularly over issues related to their competency.

Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital expand national children's study to Bristol County
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has awarded Brown University a $12-million contract to expand its participation in the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of human health and development ever conducted in the United States.

Gene expression in alligators suggests birds have 'thumbs'
The latest breakthrough in a 120 year-old debate on the evolution of the bird wing was published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, Oct.

Researchers find household insecurity associated with food insecurity, poor health
Researchers from Boston Medical Center have recently found that as household energy insecurity increases, the odds of infants and toddlers experiencing food insecurity, negative health, hospitalizations and developmental risks also increases.

Research investment failing mental health
More money and effort needs to be directed to understanding the causes and treatment of mental disorders to ensure improvements in the health of the community and the one in five people that experience mental illness in any one year.

Traits produced by melanin may signal the bearer's capacity to combat free radicals
A recent article by Ismael Galván at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid and Carlos Alonso-Alvarez at IREC-CSIC, Spain, published in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE proposes a novel hypothesis suggesting that these melanin-produced traits could indicate the ability of the bearer in fighting free radicals and oxidative damage.

NYU's Courant Institute receives $500,000 NSF grant to discover the learning algorithm of the brain
New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and its institutional partners -- Stanford University, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley -- have each received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the

So-called 'sandfish' could help materials handling and process technology specialists
In a new article published in the journal PLoS ONE, Professor Werner Baumgartner and colleagues from the Department of Cellular Neurobionics at RWTH Aachen used an MRI scanner to observe the sandfish as it

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on growing role of molecular diagnostics
Novel platform technologies and key advances in genomics are rapidly driving the development of molecular diagnostics, reports Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

Obese diners choose convenience and overeating at Chinese buffets
When dining at Chinese buffets, overweight individuals serve themselves and eat differently than normal weight individuals.

NIH selects Case Western Reserve University to participate in National Children's Study
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been awarded $26 million in funding to participate in the National Children's Study, the National Institutes of Health's comprehensive study on the interaction of genes and the environment on children's health.

Einstein and Montefiore receive grants to expand disease-focused stem cell research
The Empire State Stem Cell Board has awarded research planning grants to Albert Einstein College of Medicine and to Montefiore Medical Center.

Singing to females makes male birds' brains happy
The melodious singing of birds has been long appreciated by humans, and has been thought to reflect a positive emotional state of the singer.

Safer buildings are goal of new code changes based on recommendations from NIST WTC investigation
Future buildings -- especially tall structures -- should be increasingly resistant to fire, more easily evacuated in emergencies, and safer overall thanks to 23 major and far-reaching building and fire code changes approved recently by the International Code Council based on recommendations from the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology.

African Science Academies to meet in London
The fourth annual conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative will be held Nov.
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