Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 27, 2008
Master gene plays key role in blood sugar levels
When mice that lack steroid receptor-2, a master regulator gene called a coactivator, fast for a day, their blood sugar levels plummet.

Down's symptoms may be treatable in the womb
US researchers have found that prenatal treatment for Down's works in mice.

A novel target for therapeutics against Staph infection
Researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and the University of Edinburgh have uncovered how a bacterial pathogen interacts with the blood coagulation protein fibrinogen to cause methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, a finding that could aid in developing therapeutics against the potentially deadly disease.

NICE approves lung-cancer drug provided manufacturer Roche offers discounted price for NHS
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended erlotinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, as an alternative to docetaxel as a second-line treatment option for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer provided the manufacturer supplies erlotinib at a discounted and equivalent price to docetaxel.

Is rubber band ligation an effective method to treat symptomatic hemorrhoids?
A research team from Egypt analyze the effectiveness, safety, quality of life and results (early and long term) of rubber band ligation (RBL) in the management of symptomatic hemorrhoids.

UBC researcher reveals humpback whales' dining habits -- and costs
As most American families sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, a University of British Columbia researcher is revealing how one of the largest animals on earth feasts on the smallest of prey -- and at what cost.

Jack Bauer: The glamorization of torture does not change its inhumanity
The glamorization of torture through the TV character Jack Bauer is discussed in a viewpoint in this week's edition of the Lancet, written by Dr.

European space center at Harwell
The European Space Agency and the United Kingdom government havesigned an agreement in principle to develop an ESA research center at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

Aged care workers to leave industry en masse due to stress, warns University of Melbourne study
Almost a third of registered aged care nurses are considering quitting in the next year because of job stress, says a new University of Melbourne study.

Exposure to organochlorate pollutants and lead weakens animals bones, according to a study
A work carried out at the UGR has studied for the first time in Spain the toxicological effects of such substances in living creatures through a study of the bone tissue in bird populations.

St. Jude identifies genomic causes of a certain type of leukemia relapse
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have identified distinctive genetic changes in the cancer cells of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that cause relapse.

Are chemokine and cytokine effective markers of chronic pancreatitis?
A research group from Japan investigated whether serum chemokine and cytokine levels can become useful biological and functional markers to assess the severity of chronic pancreatitis (CP).

Queen's University biologists find new environmental threat in North American lakes
A new and insidious environmental threat has been detected in North American lakes by researchers from Queen's and York universities.

Does ascorbic acid promote neuroprotection in diabetic rats?
A research group from the State University of Maringa in Brazil investigated the effect of ascorbic acid dietary supplementation on myenteric neurons and epithelial cell proliferation of the jejunum of adult rats with chronic diabetes mellitus.

Using invisibility to increase visibility
Research into the development of invisibility devices has spurred two physicists' thought on the behavior of light to overcome the seemingly intractable problem of optical singularities which could soon lead to the manufacturing of a perfect cat's eye.

Major North American breakthrough for dialysis patients
Suffering from end-stage renal disease, a growing number of patients at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, have become the beneficiaries of a North American breakthrough: high efficacy hemodiafiltration.

Fast molecular rearrangements hold key to plastic's toughness
In a UW-Madison study appearing Nov. 28 in Science Express, researchers report that subjecting a common plastic to physical stress -- which causes the plastic to flow -- also dramatically increases the motion of the material's constituent molecules, with molecular rearrangements occurring up to 1,000 times faster than without the stress.

UW tackles neglected realm of training for science professors in training
US science and engineering students emerge from graduate school exquisitely trained to carry out research.

CSHL scientists discover a new way in which epigenetic information is inherited
CSHL scientists report that small RNA molecules called piRNAs can be passed directly from one generation to the next in fruit flies, thereby passing the trait of fertility from the mother to progeny.

What is the etiology of cardiac syndrome X?
Cardiac syndrome X, a special subform of non-cardiac chest pain with abnormal electrocardiographic but normal coronary angiogram, originates mostly from disorders of the esophagus and stomach.

The symptoms of T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
A research team from Japan presented a case of a 66-year-old man with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL).

Speed matters for ice-shelf breaking
It won't help the Titanic, but a newly derived, simple law may help scientists improve their climate models and glaciologists predict where icebergs will calve off from their parent ice sheets, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

Keeping chromosomes from cuddling up
If chromosomes snuggle up too closely at the wrong times, the results can be a genetic disaster.

Climate change puts forests and people at risk, adaptation needed to avert crisis
Unless immediate action is taken, climate change could have a devastating effect on the world's forests and the nearly 1 billion people who depend on them for their livelihoods, warned a leading group of forest scientists in a report to be released next week.

Who's most likely to be swept away?
A new study of backcountry ski habits finds training has little impact on risk of being caught in an avalanche, and Americans have higher avalanche risk than Canadians.

Warning to London 2012: Decide now or pay later
Olympic Games organizers are being warned to make key decisions now about the long-term use of the 2012 stadium -- or face costs that will spiral out of control.

FibroScan vs. liver biopsy in patients with chronic C hepatitis
In the evolution of chronic viral and non-viral hepatitis, liver fibrosis is a very important factor associated with prognosis.

Study identifies genetic variants giving rise to differences in metabolism
Common genetic polymorphisms induce major differentiations in the metabolic make-up of the human population, according to a paper published Nov.

Experimental TB drug explodes bacteria from the inside out
An international team of biochemists has discovered how an experimental drug unleashes its destructive force inside the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

The Bamako call to action: Research for health
The meeting of the Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health, in Bamako, Mali, is discussed in the lead editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Gay men's risky sexual behavior linked to feeling undesirable
Gay men who are not considered sexually desirable are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior according to new research out of the University of Toronto.

A carbon-neutral way to power your home
Newcastle scientists lead the way with a biofuel-driven, zero-carbon home energy system.

Parents of new babies should be considered for a whooping cough booster, say experts
A booster vaccination for parents of new babies and other household members may be the most effective way of preventing the fatal form of whooping cough in young infants, say a group of paediatric intensive care doctors on bmj.com today.

New screening halves the number of children born with Down syndrome
A new national screening strategy in Denmark has halved the number of infants born with Down's syndrome and increased the number of infants diagnosed before birth by 30 percent, according to a study published on bmj.com today.
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