Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 16, 2008
Study shows safety and efficacy of blood flow reversal system used during carotid stenting
Results of a study on an embolic protection system during carotid stenting that uses a novel blood flow reversal system was reported today during the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Classic experiments give new insight on life's origin
The building blocks of life may have emerged in volcanic eruptions on the early Earth, according to a new analysis of classic experiments performed more than 50 years ago.

ER staffs: Gaps exist in hospital preparedness for dirty bombs
Serious challenges remain in radioactivity readiness, according to a new study that finds emergency room doctors and nurses worry that hospitals are not adequately prepared to handle casualties from a radioactive

Scientists use light to control proteins
Scientists have discovered a way to use light to control certain proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions.

Einstein investigator wins NIH Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award
Xingxing Zang, Ph.D., assistant professor of the microbiology and immunology department at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million NIH grant to study novel molecular approaches to treat type 1 diabetes.

Study reveals embolic neuroprotection system reduces risk of cardiac events
Results of a study on the use of the FiberNet Embolic Protection System in carotid artery stenting were reported today during the 20th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Racial disparities in cardiovascular health linked to birth weight, slavery
Two new articles examine the theory of

Future for migraine treatment: Targeting neuropeptides
Targeting a system which utilizes peptides in the brain during a migraine could be the future of treatment for this debilitating condition.

Listening to dark matter
A team of researchers in Canada have made a bold stride in the struggle to detect dark matter.

JCI online early table of contents: Oct. 16, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Oct.

6 of 9 presidential election forecasts predict Obama will win 2008 popular vote
Most of nine forecast models developed by political scientists predict a victory for Senator Barack Obama over Senator John McCain in the two-party contest for the popular vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Prostate cancer gene test provides new early detection
Prostate cancer is one of the most common male cancers in the Western world.

Chinese Premier sees science as a key to development
During a two-hour meeting with the editor-in-chief of the journal Science, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed hope for increasing investment in basic research, reducing energy consumption by 4 percent annually as economic gains continue, improving food safety and leveraging science to help the poor.

Emotion and scent create lasting memories -- even in a sleeping brain
In a series of experiments with sleeping mice, researchers at the Duke University Medical Center have shown that the part of the brain that processes scents is indeed a key part of forming long-term memories, especially involving other individuals.

Molecular defect for 1 form of male factor infertility uncovered
New data, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, have uncovered one molecular defect underlying the failure of sperm from some patients to initiate successful fertilization through the in vitro fertilization technique ICSI, which is used to treat male factor infertility.

New research field promises radical advances in optical technologies
A new research field called transformation optics may usher in a host of radical advances including a cloak of invisibility and ultra-powerful microscopes and computers by harnessing nanotechnology and

NIAID funds studies of how SARS and bird flu evade antiviral responses
Researchers will create computer models of virus-host interactions and cellular responses to acute respiratory virus infections from bird flu or SARS.

Better beer: College team creating anticancer brew
College students often spend their free time thinking about beer, but a group of Rice University students are taking it to the next level.

Fructose sets table for weight gain without warning
Eating too much fructose can induce leptin resistance, a condition that can easily lead to becoming overweight when combined with a high-fat, high-calorie diet, according to a new study with rats.

Monash wins $32m for health and medical research
Monash University has secured $32 million in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council funding -- the University's highest ever NHMRC funding amount for the greatest number of projects.

Brain structure provides key to unraveling function of bizarre dinosaur crests
Paleontologists have long debated the function of the strange, bony crests on the heads of the duck-billed dinosaurs known as lambeosaurs.

Hurricane Ike triggers Dartmouth's work for the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research
Dartmouth researchers with the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research are preparing to visit the Galveston, Texas, area on their first field mission in early November to study the impact of Hurricane Ike, which hit in late September.

Border control: Study shows how proteins permit entry to a cell
The means by which proteins provide a

UQ medical research receives a healthy boost
The University of Queensland today received $31 million in National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grants, confirming its position as the state's top research institution.

Cost-effective farm waste-to-energy technology focus of research
Michigan State University researchers are working to develop technology to turn animal waste into heat, electricity and other valuable products on small farms.

Breast cancer awareness month spotlights oral mucositis: Side effect of anticancer therapy
As millions of Americans participate in educational initiatives as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they should keep in mind an important yet under-recognized consequence of breast cancer therapy: oral mucositis, one of the most common and debilitating side effects of cancer treatment.

New hope for the red squirrel
A number of red squirrels are immune to squirrelpox viral disease, which many believed would lead to the extinction of the species, scientists have discovered.

Could Dr. House be replaced by a computer?
Tel Aviv University computer scientists are cracking the code on the metabolism of human diseases.

Gene therapy restores vision to mice with retinal degeneration
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have used gene therapy to restore useful vision to mice with degeneration of the light-sensing retinal rods and cones, a common cause of human blindness.

Researchers identify genetic switch critical for cell survival in hypoxia
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a critical metabolic

University secures record funding for health and medical research
The University of Newcastle has received a record $14.8 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

When it comes to forest soil, wildfires pack 1-2 punch
A new study led by the Pacific Northwest Research Station represents the first direct evidence of the toll wildfire can take on forest soil layers.

UGA study reveals ecosystem-level consequences of frog extinctions
Streams that once sang with the croaks, chirps and ribbits of dozens of frog species have gone silent.

'Lost' Miller-Urey experiment created more of life's building blocks
A classic experiment proving amino acids are created when inorganic molecules are exposed to electricity isn't the whole story, it turns out.

New class of antibiotics may lead to therapy for drug-resistant tuberculosis
Researchers are hot on the trail of a whole new class of broad-spectrum antibiotics, according to a new report in the Oct.

MU brain imaging center provides research for autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease
Recently, the University of Missouri Department of Psychological Sciences introduced an addition to their field of research with the opening of the Brain Imaging Center.

Genes that control cell death fingered in age-related hearing loss
Several genes that play a role in how our body's cells normally auto-destruct may play a role in age-related hearing loss, according to research published online in the journal Apoptosis -- a journal devoted to the topic of cell suicide, or programmed cell death.

Persuading novice voters with abstract or concrete messages: Timing is everything
Political commentators and opinion page writers criticized Barack Obama for his lack of specifics, yet voters continued to respond to his message.

Early exposure to drugs, alcohol creates lifetime of health risk
Is it bad kids who do drugs, or doing drugs that makes kids bad?

Aspirin does not prevent heart attacks in patients with diabetes
Taking regular aspirin and antioxidant supplements does not prevent heart attacks even in high risk groups with diabetes and asymptomatic arterial disease, and aspirin should only be given to patients with established heart disease, stroke or limb arterial disease, according to a study published today on bmj.com.

Brain signals less satisfaction for obese people, research shows
Obese individuals may overeat because they experience less satisfaction from eating food due to a reduced response in their brains' reward circuitry, according to a new study by Eric Stice, psychology researcher at the University of Texas at Austin.

Duke innovations improve accuracy of MRI as internal 'thermometer'
Duke University chemists say they have developed a new way to measure temperature changes inside the body with unprecedented precision by correcting a subtle error in the original theory underlying magnetic resonance imaging.

Obesity, abnormal 'reward circuitry' in brain linked by imaging studies
Using brain imaging and chocolate milkshakes, scientists have found that women with weakened

Unnecessary regulation harming clinical research in the UK, say experts
Increasing bureaucracy is the biggest single threat to clinical research in the UK and urgent action needs to be taken, argue experts on bmj.com today.

Yale researchers tie genes, lower reward response to weight gain
The brains of obese people seem to respond to a tasty treat with less vigor than the brains of their leaner peers, suggesting obese people may overeat to compensate for a reduced reward response, according to a new brain imaging and genetics study conducted by researchers at Yale University, the John B.

PM's science prize for Ian Frazer
UQ's cervical cancer vaccine co-creator Professor Ian Frazer has won the 2008 Prime Minister's Prize for Science.

Rutgers researchers identify new antibiotic target and new antibiotic mechanism
Rutgers scientists have identified a new antibiotic target and a new antibiotic mechanism that may enable the development of broad-spectrum antibacterial agents effective against bacterial pathogens resistant to current antibiotics.

Who should be the next executive director of UNAIDS?
At the end of the year, Peter Piot will step down as executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS and the largest organization devoted to a single disease.

Colossal black holes common in early universe
Astronomers think that many -- perhaps all -- galaxies in the universe contain massive black holes at their centers.

NARSAD announces 2008 Prizes for Outstanding Achievement in Research on Mental Health Disorders
Prizes awarded to six prominent scientists whose investigations have led to significant strides in the understanding and treatment of mental illness.

Novel genetic screens provide panoramic views of cellular systems
Researchers often use the technique of RNA interference to identify genes involved in particular biological processes by knocking them down, one at a time, and observing the result.

Experiments at CSHL support alternative theory of information processing in the cortex
With remarkable precision, neurons in the sound-processing part of the brain's cortex fire electrochemical pulses or

NCI awards VCU Massey Cancer Center $4.25M to study disparities in colon cancer diagnosis
The National Cancer Institute has awarded two grants totaling more than $4.25 million to a Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researcher for two studies to examine delays and disparities in colon cancer diagnosis.

First gamma-ray-only pulsar observation opens new window on stellar evolution
About three times a second, a 10,000-year-old stellar corpse sweeps a beam of gamma-rays toward Earth.

Man's best friend recruited in the hunt for disease genes
For centuries man has had a uniquely close relationship with dogs -- as a working animal, for security and, perhaps most importantly, for companionship.

Register by Oct. 21 for annual carbon sequestration meeting
The deadline to register for the annual meeting of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership is Tuesday, Oct.

Geologist who linked cosmic strike to dinosaurs' extinction takes top prize
Walter Alvarez, the maverick geologist who convinced a skeptical world that dinosaurs and many other living things on Earth were wiped out by a huge fireball from space, has won the highly esteemed Vetlesen Prize.

Blunted activation of brain reward circuitry increases risk for future weight gain
Oregon Research Institute senior scientist Eric Stice, Ph.D., and colleagues provide evidence that blunted activation of brain regions when eating is related to current and future weight gain.

Key to function of dinosaur crests found in brain structure
Paleontologists have long debated the function of the strange, bony crests on the heads of the duck-billed dinosaurs known as lambeosaurs.

New solar energy material captures every color of the rainbow
Researchers have created a new material that overcomes two of the major obstacles to solar power: it absorbs all the energy contained in sunlight, and generates electrons in a way that makes them easier to capture.

Boston University presents the Wyeth Symposium on Metabolic Dysregulation
Boston University Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics will present the Wyeth Symposium on Metabolic Dysregulation on Oct.

High-altitude climbing causes subtle loss of brain cells and motor function
Italian researchers compared professional mountain climbers with age and sex matched controls to see if high altitude exposure without oxygen had caused any brain changes.

Genes hold secret of survival of Antarctic 'antifreeze fish'
A genetic study of a fish that lives in the icy waters off Antarctica sheds light on the adaptations that enable it to survive in one of the harshest environments on the planet.

Volcanoes may have provided sparks and chemistry for first life
Lightning and gases from volcanic eruptions could have given rise to the first life on Earth, according to a new analysis of samples from a classic origin-of-life experiment by NASA and university researchers.

Volcanoes may have provided sparks of first life
Researchers reanalyze classic Miller experiment to uncover role of volcanoes in early life on Earth.

Study finds value in 'junk' DNA
For about 15 years, scientists have known that certain

MIT: Computer model reveals cells' inner workings
After spending years developing a computational model to help illuminate cell signaling pathways, a team of MIT researchers decided to see what would happen if they

Genetic based human diseases are an ancient evolutionary legacy
Evolutionary geneticists reveal that disease genes emerged very early in evolutionary history.

Radiation in your backyard ... sometimes
Modern nuclear techniques are giving the world's scientists and regulators better tools to fight pollution and other environmental threats -- even those that may be lurking naturally at the beach or near your backyard.

University of Miami School of Nursing named World Health Organization Collaborating Center
The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies has received designation as a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nursing Human Resources Development and Patient Safety.

Novel publishing approach puts textbook in more hands
A new edition of a major textbook,

NASA's Fermi telescope discovers first gamma-ray-only pulsar
About three times a second, a 10,000-year-old stellar corpse sweeps a beam of gamma-rays toward Earth.

Integrating antiretroviral therapy with TB treatment for co-infections reduces mortality
A South African treatment study conducted by researchers in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health shows that mortality among TB-HIV co-infected patients can be reduced by a remarkable 55 pecent, if antiretroviral therapy is provided with TB treatment at the same time.

AGU journal highlights -- Oct. 16, 2008
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

People want more personal, expert 'health engagement,' global study reveals
A 5,000-person, five-country study released today by Edelman shows that people want more active, trusted and personal health interaction with companies, organizations and brands, effectively rewriting the
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