Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 04, 2008
Caltech researchers find ancient climate cycles recorded in Mars rocks
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology and their colleagues have found evidence of ancient climate change on Mars caused by regular variation in the planet's tilt, or obliquity.

Springer to publish Fisheries Science as of 2009
Fisheries Science will be published by Springer as of January 2009.

Springer joins SERU initiative
Springer has registered as a participating publisher in the Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU).

Genetic ancestry of African-Americans reveals new insights about gene expression
The amount of proteins produced in cells -- a fundamental determinant of biological outcomes collectively known as gene expression -- varies in African-American individuals depending on their proportion of African or European genetic ancestry.

HALT-C researchers: Interferon as long-term treatment for hepatitis C not effective
Use of the drug interferon as a long-term maintenance strategy to slow the progression of liver disease associated with the hepatitis C virus is ineffective, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers and their colleagues from nine other institutions have found in a multicenter study.

Vitamin E shows possible promise in easing chronic inflammation
Illinois researchers have found that vitamin E shows promise in easing inflammation.

Classification of first generation and second generation antipsychotic drugs should be abandoned
A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials into the effects of antipsychotic drugs has found important differences between individual drugs, which are blurred by classification of

Study offers insights about development of the human immune system
A UCSF study has found that a surprisingly high number of maternal cells enters the fetus during pregnancy, prompting the generation of special immune cells in the fetus that suppress a response against the mother.

Past religious diversity and intolerance have profound impact on genetics of Iberian people
New research suggests that relatively recent events had a substantial impact on patterns of genetic diversity in the southwest region of Europe.

Spreading the joy around
A laugh can be infectious. You don't need a sophisticated study to tell you that.

Tropical forest carbon monitoring gets big boost
A new and improved tool to monitor deforestation and degradation in tropical forests has just gotten a huge boost.

Researcher develops screening tool to identify patients with prediabetes
A University of Missouri researcher has created a clinical tool to identify those at highest risk for having undetected hyperglycemia, impaired fasting glucose and undiagnosed diabetes.

New target discovered to treat epileptic seizures following brain trauma or stroke
New therapies for some forms of epilepsy may soon be possible, thanks to a discovery made by a team of University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute neuroscience researchers.

Happiness is a collective -- not just individual -- phenomenon
Happiness spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion, according to a study that looked at nearly 5,000 individuals over a period of 20 years.

Science: Investigating new materials with ultracold atoms
Future technologies ranging from information technology to high-temperature superconductivity require new materials with tailored electronic properties.

Bonefish census reveals population holding steady
If you're looking for bonefish from Miami down to the Marquesas , you have about 321,000 to choose from -- that is down slightly from the average of previous censuses.

New recommendations by scientific societies about late-onset hypogonadism
The January issue of European Urology, the official journal of the European Association of Urology published by Elsevier, will feature new recommendations on late-onset hypogonadism (LOH), recently formulated by major scientific organizations.

Mysteries of Venus revealed at wavelengths invisible to human eyes
New images taken by instruments on board ESA's Venus Express provide a unique insight into the windy atmosphere of our neighboring planet and reveal that global patterns at the Venus cloud tops are the result of variable temperatures and cloud heights.

Red alert! How disease disables tomato plant's 'intruder alarm'
How a bacterium overcomes a tomato plant's defenses and causes disease, by sneakily disabling the plant's intruder detection systems, is revealed in new research out today in Current Biology.

Researcher designs robot that jumps like a grasshopper
The first robot that can jump like a grasshopper and roll like a ball could play a key role in future space exploration.

Angled gantry technique reduced breast radiation exposure by 50 percent
A novel angled gantry approach to coronary CT angiography reduced radiation exposure to the breast by more than 50 percent, according to Thomas Jefferson University researchers.

Researchers gain new insight on wonder of cell division
Biologists have discovered a mechanism that is critical to cytokinesis -- nature's completion of mitosis, where a cell divides into two identical daughter cells.

Researchers find new genetic target for sickle cell disease therapy
Researchers have identified a gene that directly affects the production of a form of hemoglobin that is instrumental in modifying the severity of the inherited blood disorders sickle cell disease and thalassemia.

Few Ontario women with invasive ovarian cancer referred for genetic testing of breast cancer genes
An Ontario study of 491 women with invasive ovarian cancer found only a small proportion, 19 percent, were referred for genetic testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2, the breast cancer genes, which means family members are not informed of their cancer risk.

Unlocking the mysteries of memory
Groundbreaking research on human memory by Tel Aviv University.

Research on understanding DNA segregation
For his research of DNA segregation, assembly and regulation of bacterial actin-like proteins, and cytoskeleton, Ethan Clark Garner, a regional winner from North America, has been named the Grand Prize winner for the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists.

Expert: Long-term care health coverage a hidden casualty of economic slide
Many Americans have lost more than just retirement savings amid a year-long economic meltdown that has sliced the US stock market's value by nearly half in a little over a year, a University of Illinois elder law expert says.

A little wine boosts omega-3 in the body: Researchers find a novel mechanism for a healthier heart
Moderate alcohol intake is associated with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells.

New bone implant technology using techniques normally used to make catalytic converters
A method of producing synthetic bone, using techniques normally used to make catalytic converters for cars, is being developed by researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick.

Journal Chest: December highlighted studies
New studies in the December issue of the journal Chest show that COPD may be linked to both osteoporosis and acid reflux, while asthma may be linked to poor mental health.

Study strengthens link between tobacco smoke and behavioral problems in boys with asthma
Boys with asthma who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke have higher degrees of hyperactivity, aggression, depression and other behavioral problems, according to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Largest study of fertility patients shows concerns about embryo disposition
Fertility patients who are done having children feel responsible for the stored, frozen embryos left over from their treatment, yet more than half are against implanting the embryos in anyone else, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Crystallography reveals the 3-D structure of mammalian sperm receptor
Scientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have determined the first 3D structure of ZP3, a protein essential for the interaction between the mammalian egg coat and sperm.

USP transitions medication error reporting programs
In a decision to focus full attention and resources on its core standards-setting activities, USP will transfer its reporting programs, MEDMARX and the Medication Errors Reporting Program, to Quantros and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, respectively.

Study finds treatment fails to improve common form of heart failure
A medication used for high blood pressure does not improve a common form of heart failure, according to new results from a large, international study.

Myth about 'dirty old men' supported by science
Research in the theory of evolution includes a number of accepted theories about how men and women choose their partners.

Blood tests can help detect presence of necrotizing soft tissue infections
With less than half of patients with necrotizing soft tissue infections displaying the physical signs of these very serious infections, researchers have found two simple blood tests can help physicians diagnose what is commonly known as

Apple or pear shape is not main culprit to heart woes -- it's liver fat
Pear-shaped people who carry weight in the thighs and backside have been told for years they are at lower risk for high blood pressure and heart disease than apple-shaped people who carry fat in the abdomen.

'Zinc zipper' plays key role in hospital-acquired infections
A team of University of Cincinnati researchers is exploring a

Happiness is infectious
Happiness really does rub off -- a person's happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected, finds research published on bmj.com today.

September 2007 Sumatran earthquakes research findings
Three great earthquakes and destructive tsunamis over the past four years is not enough to spare the region of another large earthquake, warns an international group of earthquake researchers in their paper published in the Dec.

Study shows Carraguard microbicidal gel fails to protect women from HIV infection
The candidate vaginal microbicide gel Carraguard does not protect women from HIV infection, reports an article in this week's edition of the Lancet, written by Stephanie Skoler-Karpoff and Barbara Friedland, Population Council, New York and colleagues.

New volume in emerging infections series
ASM Press announces publication of the latest volume in its popular series on new and emerging infectious diseases.

Well-armed immune cells help long-term nonprogressors contain HIV
Researchers are trying to better understand how the immune systems of a minority of HIV-infected people known as long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs) contain the virus naturally.

Depression rife among medical students
Medical students frequently suffer from depression, especially during their internship years.

Metabolic reactions: Less is more in single-celled organisms
A Northwestern University study of four single-celled organisms had some surprising results.

UCLA expert blames American values for health-care crisis
To heal our ailing health-care system, we need to stop thinking like Americans.

LA BioMed researchers among Southern California Super Doctors
Thirty-eight physician-scientists from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center are honored for being among Southern California Super Doctors.

A book of common prayers
In times of economic distress and plenty, ninety percent of Americans pray, more than half of us once a day or more.

Extraordinary immune cells may hold the key to managing HIV
People who manage to control HIV on their own are providing scientists with valuable information about how the immune system eliminates virus-infected cells.

Discovery of a debilitating genetic syndrome
Canadian researchers announce the discovery of MEDNIK Syndrome, a debilitating genetic syndrome.

Collaboration of soloists makes the best science
For the success of a major research university, which is better: large, well-funded laboratory empires with many investigators working toward the same end, or the individual scientist toiling alone in his own laboratory or at his own desk?

Model unravels rules that govern how genes are switched on and off
Now, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Professor, former student share prestigious award for problem-solving theory
A Virginia Tech professor and his former student won the INFORMS prize for the best contribution to operations research and the management sciences for developing a mathematical methodology called the

New dummy design and development wins US Department of Defense award
The Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University's School of Biomedical Engineering and Science's Center for Injury Biomechanics has received the Army Modeling and Simulation Award for 2008.

Gene packaging tells story of cancer development
To decipher how cancer develops, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators say researchers must take a closer look at the packaging.

Bone marrow-derived stem cells may offer novel therapeutic option for skin disorder
Stem cells derived from bone marrow may serve as a novel therapeutic option to treat a disease called epidermolysis bullosa, a disorder characterized by extraordinarily fragile skin, according to a study prepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

A new approach improves prioritization of disease-associated SNPs
The more often a gene is differentially expressed, the more likely it is to contain disease-associated DNA variants.

Prion infectivity found in white and brown fat tissues of mice
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Scripps Research Institute have found novel prion infectivity in white and brown fat tissues of mice.

Coerced medication used in psychiatric care despite lack of clinical evidence
More needs to be done to establish sound clinical evidence for the use of coerced medication in inpatient psychiatric care, together with viable alternatives.

Dormant stem cells for emergencies
A small group of stem cells in the bone marrow remains dormant almost throughout life.

Scientists have a new scientific tool for hurricane research online
Scientists, students, and applications users seeking on-the-fly visualizations and analysis of hurricane-related satellite and model data can now get access to it via the NASA Hurricane Data Analysis tool online.

UC San Diego engineers work to make historic buildings safer during strong earthquakes
Recent simulated earthquake tests conducted by UC San Diego engineers are expected to lead to retrofit schemes that make historic buildings safer.

Researchers solve piece of large-scale gene silencing mystery
A team led by Craig Pikaard, Ph.D., WUSTL professor of biology in arts and sciences, has made a breakthrough in understanding the phenomenon of nucleolar dominance, the silencing of an entire parental set of ribosomal RNA genes in a hybrid plant or animal.

Mix of taiji, cognitive therapy and support groups benefits those with dementia
Those diagnosed with early stage dementia can slow their physical, mental and psychological decline by taking part in therapeutic programs that combine counseling, support groups, Taiji and qigong, researchers report.

'MEDNIK': A novel genetic syndrome
Canadian researchers announce the discovery of MEDNIK, a debilitating genetic syndrome, in a study published Dec.

GEN reports growing focus on PI3-kinase pathway in cancer research
Researchers are taking a closer look at the phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway as studies continue to demonstrate that inhibiting this biological route suppresses tumor growth, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Jefferson researcher awarded NIH grant
Scott Mintzer, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at the Jefferson Comprehensive Epilepsy Center of Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience was recently awarded a Junior Investigator grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the adverse metabolic effects of antiepileptic seizure medications.

Students discover unique planet
Three undergraduate students, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, have discovered an extrasolar planet.

The importance of science and technology at the White House
Because of the importance of science and technology in our society, a new article,
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