Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 14, 2008
Practice as well as sleep may help birds learn new songs
The reorganization of neural activity during sleep helps young songbirds to develop the vocal skills they display while awake.

Work with fungus uncovering keys to DNA methylation
Researchers in a University of Oregon lab have shed more light on the mechanism that regulates DNA methylation, a fundamental biological process in which a methyl group is attached to DNA, the genetic material in cells of living organisms.

Method sorts out double-walled carbon nanotube problem
It's hard to study something with any rigor if the subject can't be produced uniformly and efficiently.

Brain background to body mass
A genetic study of more than 90,000 people has identified six new genetic variants that are associated with increased Body Mass Index.

Alzheimer's research using animal models significantly increases understanding of the disease
In recent years, a variety of animal models have been created -- from tiny invertebrates with life spans measurable in months to huge mammals that live several decades.

Immunity stronger at night than during day
The immune system's battle against invading bacteria reaches its peak activity at night and is lowest during the day.

As ice melts, Antarctic bedrock is on the move
As ice melts away from Antarctica, parts of the continental bedrock are rising in response -- and other parts are sinking, scientists have discovered.

CSIRO scientists announce Alzheimer's disease breakthrough
Australian scientists at CSIRO, have developed a new system to screen for compounds that can inhibit one of the processes that takes place during the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Step out for PAD
A new study published in the Journal of Physiology shows that regular, moderate exercise can go a long way to relieving the symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD) by some unexpected mechanisms.

MIT nanotubes sniff out cancer agents in living cells
MIT engineers have developed carbon nanotubes into sensors for cancer drugs and other DNA-damaging agents inside living cells.

Snoring or soaring? Strength of fruit-fly immune system varies
A fruit fly's immune system can tell time, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found, and how hard it punches back against infections depends on whether the fly is snoozing or cruising.

Preventing a broken heart: Research aims to reduce scarring from heart attacks
A heart damaged by heart attack is usually broken, at least partially, for good.

Blocking molecular pathway with whimsical name possible therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer
A possible new therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer, the most lethal form of human cancer, has been identified in the proteins whose DNA recipe comes from the gene,

Greenland's glaciers losing ice faster this year than last year, which was record-setting itself
Researchers watching the loss of ice flowing out from the giant island of Greenland say that the amount of ice lost this summer is nearly three times what was lost one year ago.

Stomach bleed patients could be treated as outpatients, clearing hospital beds and cutting costs
Simple clinical and laboratory tests could identify patients with stomach bleeds who are low risk and could be safely managed as outpatients.

Single adult stem cell can self renew, repair tissue damage in live mammal
The first demonstration that a single adult stem cell can self renew in a mammal was reported by scientists.

More food at lower cost
New research from the University of Bristol, UK, published today in Nature Cell Biology, has shown how to increase the length of root hairs on plants, potentially improving crop yields, as plants with longer root hairs take up minerals and water more efficiently.

In just 5 years, gene discovery to clinical trial of potential treatment
One of the fastest translations of a basic research discovery into a promising clinical trial for an

6 new genes suggest obesity is in your head, not your gut
Is obesity all in your head?

Looking for extraterrestrial life in all the right places
Scientists are expanding the search for extraterrestrial life -- and they've set their sights on some very unearthly planets.

Exciting discovery could 'stop cancer from killing people'
Researchers at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry have shed light on a key mechanism behind the development of metastasis -- the main cause of death associated with cancer.
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