Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 18, 2008
Team led by Scripps Research scientists develop method for generating novel types of stem cells
A team led by Scripps Research Institute scientists has for the first time developed a technique for generating novel types of rat and human stem cells with characteristics similar to mouse embryonic stem cells, currently the predominant type of stem cells used for creating animal models of human diseases in research.

Researchers advance knowledge of little 'nano-machines' in our body
A discovery by Canada-US biophysicists will improve the understanding of ion channels, akin to little

Montana State study finds super dads, possible polygamists among dinos
New research suggests that some meat-eating dinosaurs were super dads and possibly polygamists.

Mouse trap? Stanford immunologist calls for more research on humans, not mice
The fabled laboratory mouse -- from which we have learned so much about how the immune system works -- can teach us only so much about how we humans get sick and what to do about it, says a leading researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Boston University Medical Center gastroenterologist
Newton resident M. Michael Wolfe, M.D., chief of the Gastroenterology Section at Boston Medical Center, professor of medicine and research professor of physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, was recently named one of America's Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

American Association for the Advancement of Science honors four Iowa Staters
Four Iowa State researchers -- Surya Mallapragada, Klaus Schmidt-Rohr, George Kraus and Kenneth Moore -- are being named AAAS Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Denise Galloway and Gerald Smith named AAAS Fellows
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center scientists Denise Galloway, Ph.D., a microbiologist, and Gerald Smith, Ph.D., a geneticist and microbiologist, have been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow.

Watching water from space could aid disease prevention in China
Scientists are looking to outer space for help in their attempt to prevent new outbreaks of the tropical disease schistosomiasis in southern China.

Thomas R. Kurfess, Clemson University BMW Endowed Chair, named AAAS 2008 Fellow
Thomas R. Kurfess, the BMW Endowed Chair in Manufacturing at Clemson University, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science.

Patients with severe psoriasis need evaluation of heart disease risk
Link to psoriasis strengthens evidence that inflammation contributes to coronary artery disease, say editors of the American Journal of Cardiology.

UCSF receives $24.4 million to fight early childhood cavities
The UCSF School of Dentistry has received the largest grant in its history: $24.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to address socio-economic and cultural disparities in oral health.

UGA receives $18.7 million Gates Foundation grant to improve control of schistosomiasis
The University of Georgia Research Foundation has received a five-year, $18.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research ways to reduce morbidity from schistosomiasis in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.

Sulfurous ping-pong in the urinary tract
Entirely new protein structures are very rarely found to drive known biochemical processes.

Boston University Medical Center gynecologist named one of America's top doctors
Newton resident Linda Heffner, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston Medical Center and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine was recently named one of America's Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Common treatment for chronic prostatitis fails to reduce symptoms
Alfuzosin, a drug commonly prescribed for men with chronic prostatitis, a painful disorder of the prostate and surrounding pelvic area, failed to significantly reduce symptoms in recently diagnosed men who had not been previously treated with this drug, according to a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Dear Michelle Obama ...
The voices of women whose stories are rarely told have been gathered by two scholars at the University at Buffalo to offer Michelle Obama messages of love, hope, admiration and support as she becomes the United States' first African-American First Lady.

Medical acupuncture gaining acceptance by the US Air Force
Medical acupuncture, which is acupuncture performed by a licensed physician trained at a conventional medical school, is being used increasingly for pain control.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Male dinosaurs may have been prehistoric babysitters, study shows
Those ferocious Hollywood meat-eating dinosaurs you're used to seeing in the movies very possibly had a much softer side: The males might even have been sort of prehistoric babysitters, according to a far-flung study conducted by a Texas A&M University researcher.

ACP endorses National Priorities Partnership goals
Continuing its commitment to reforming the US health care system, the American College of Physicians has endorsed the National Priorities Partnership's goals to eliminate harm, eradicate disparities, reduce disease burden and remove waste.

Researchers push nature beyond its limits to create higher-density biofuels
For the first time researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have successfully pushed nature beyond its limits by genetically modifying Escherichia coli, a bacterium often associated with food poisoning, to produce unusually long-chain alcohols essential in the creation of biofuels.

A walk in the park a day keeps mental fatigue away
If you spend the majority of your time among stores, restaurants and skyscrapers, it may be time to trade in your stilettos for some hiking boots.

New World post-pandemic reforestation helped start Little Ice Age, say Stanford scientists
The power of viruses is well documented in human history.

Argonne's modeling and simulation expertise to explore alternative sustainable sources of energy
Two computational scientists in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory have been awarded a total of 37,500,000 hours of computing time on the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to investigate safe and cost effective methods for developing nuclear energy.

Media registration opens for chemical society national meeting March 22-26 in Salt Lake City
Press registration is now open for the American Chemical Society's 237th National Meeting March 22-26 in Salt Lake City.

Next generation microscopy: No stain, big gain
Microscopes have revolutionized the practice of science, especially in the fields of biology and medicine.

New gene found to be associated with widely used marker of blood glucose concentration
Scientists have found that genetic variation at the hexokinase-1 gene is linked to variation in the blood concentration of glycated hemoglobin, an index of long-term blood glucose concentration widely used in the follow-up of diabetes patients.

James Thomson receives 2008 Massry Prize honoring stem cell researchers
James Thomson, director of regenerative biology at the Morgridge Institute for Research, and John D.

Water in the early universe
Water detected at record distance with the Effelsberg 100 m radio telescope.

First trimester smoking linked to oral clefts
Smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy is clearly linked with an increased risk of cleft lip in newborns.

New label-free method tracks molecules and drugs in live cells
A new type of highly sensitive microscopy developed by researchers at Harvard University could greatly expand the limits of modern biomedical imaging, allowing scientists to track the location of minuscule metabolites and drugs in living cells and tissues without the use of any kind of fluorescent labeling.

Two LLNL scientists selected as AAAS Fellows
Don Correll and Edward Moses of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been awarded the distinction of Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Argonne advancing DOE INCITE scientific research projects
Based on their potential for breakthroughs in science and engineering research, twenty eight projects have been awarded 400 million hours of computing time at Argonne's Leadership Computing Facility through the Department of Energy's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program.

Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model
The initial results of the first computer model that simulates the global atmosphere with a detailed representation of individual clouds have been analyzed by a team of scientists at the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Japan-Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and the University of Tokyo.

More freedom to take risks: DFG funds the first Reinhart Koselleck Projects
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has given six scientists more freedom to do especially innovative and higher-risk research.

New technology aims to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths
A new technology that could help physicians screen pregnant women at risk of developing a prenatal and potentially fatal complication called preeclampsia has been developed at the University of Western Ontario and the Children's Health Research Institute of Lawson Health Research Institute.

Gesture recognition
A system that can recognize human gestures could provide a new way for people with physical disabilities to interact with computers.

Group treatment may help children achieve healthier weights
Children who participated in family-based or parent-only group weight-management programs were not as overweight after six months as children in a control group.

New research to exploit world's thinnest material
The Universities of Exeter and Bath can today reveal their plans for a new world-leading research center to explore and exploit the properties of the thinnest material in nature.

Better patient outcomes with drug eluting stents
Patients receiving drug eluting stents -- stents coated with medication to prevent narrowing of the artery -- as part of an angioplasty had better outcomes one year later than patients with bare metal stents, according to a new study to be published in CMAJ.

Passage graves from an astronomical perspective
Passage graves are mysterious barrows from the Stone Age. New research from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen indicates that the Stone Age graves' orientation in the landscape could have an astronomical explanation.

A simple fusion to jump-start evolution
With the aid of a straightforward experiment, researchers have provided some clues to one of biology's most complex questions: how ancient organic molecules came together to form the basis of life.

Research and innovation essential to economic recovery
The Science Coalition today urged Congress and the incoming Obama Administration to include funding for research in legislation currently being developed to aid in economic stimulus and recovery.

Duke researchers coax bright white light from unexpected source
Duke University and United States Army scientists have found that a cheap and nontoxic sunburn and diaper rash preventative can be made to produce brilliant light best suited to the human eye.

2 Wake Forest University chemistry professors named 2008 AAAS Fellows
Wake Forest University faculty members Mark Welker, William L. Poteat Professor of Chemistry and associate provost for faculty affairs, and Dilip Kondepudi, Thurman D.

Biomarkers improve ischemic stroke prediction
Testing patient's blood for two proteins or biomarkers that occur when inflammation is present could help doctors identify which patients are more likely to have a stroke, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report that appears online in the journal Stroke.

Dangerous skin cancer
The German Cancer Society has worked out new guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma -- a disease with unfavorable prognosis.

WPI Professor David Adams named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
David S. Adams, professor of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

Find the aphid
By leaving the remains of their old exoskeletons, called

Why locusts abandon a solitary life for the swarm
By applying an old theory that has been used to explain water flow through soil and the spread of forest fires, researchers may have an answer to a perplexing ecological and evolutionary problem: why locusts switch from an innocuous, solitary lifestyle to form massive swarms that can devastate crops and strip fields bare.

PICO and SALVE: Understanding the subatomic world better
Two new high-resolution transmission electron microscopes, co-financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, are set to open up new opportunities for research in physics and materials science.

NYU's Anton and Stein named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded New York University's Susan Antón, an anthropologist, and Daniel Stein, a physicist, the distinction of AAAS Fellow.

Obesity increases lymphedema risk for breast cancer survivors
Throughout the world, 10 million breast cancer survivors have a lifetime risk for developing lymphedema, a chronic condition that involves swelling of the limbs and impacts physical and psychosocial health.

F-MARC funds more 'soccer and health' research
The project in Copenhagen covers: an examination of the long-term cardio-vascular and musculoskeletal health effects of regular participation in football and jogging for pre-menopausal untrained women; an examination whether regular football training is as efficient in the treatment of hypertension as standardized medical treatment for untrained middle-aged men.

EPA should pursue cumulative risk assessment of phthalates and other chemicals
The US Environmental Protection Agency should examine whether combined exposures to chemicals known as phthalates could cause adverse health effects in humans, says a new report from the National Research Council.

5 Brown faculty elected to world's largest scientific body
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has elected five Brown University professors -- David M.

Polygamy, paternal care in birds linked to dinosaur ancestors
Sure, they're polygamous, but male emus and several other ground-dwelling birds also are devoted dads, serving as the sole incubators and caregivers to over-sized broods from multiple mothers.

UC San Diego and Genentech scientists develop potentially disruptive antibody sequencing technology
Bioinformatics researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Genentech have developed a new, quicker way to sequence monoclonal antibodies -- a process that is many times faster than the sequencing technology typically used by academic and industry researchers today.

Donation for new Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology
Professor Moein Moghimi and colleagues at University of Copenhagen have received 28 million DKK ($5.5 million) to set the Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences starting April 2009.

British scientist warns we must protect the vulnerable from robots
Top robotics expert professor Noel Sharkey, of the University of Sheffield, has called for international guidelines to be set for the ethical and safe application of robots before it is too late.

Science's breakthrough of the year: Cellular reprogramming
In its annual list of the year's top ten scientific breakthroughs, the journal Science has given top honors to research that produced

Life on Mars? Brown-led research team says elusive mineral bolsters chances
A research team led by Brown University has found evidence of a long-sought mineral that shows Mars was home to a variety of watery environments, including regional pockets of neutral or alkaline water.

CSHL scientists discover new way in which ubiquitin modifies transcriptional machinery
Recent evidence suggests that parts of the ubiquitin-proteasome system are involved in regulating gene expression.

Where did Venus's water go?
Venus Express has made the first detection of an atmospheric loss process on Venus's day-side.

Scientists study how asbestos fibers trigger cancer in human cells
Ohio State University scientists believe they are the first in the world to study the molecular underpinnings of cancer by probing individual bonds between an asbestos fiber and human cells.

Boston University Medical Center nephrologist named one of America's top doctors
Newton resident David Salant, M.D., chief of Renal Medicine and director of the Nephrology Training Program at Boston Medical Center and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine was recently named one of America's Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

UCI tops all universities in number of researchers named Fellows of leading scientific society
The 20 UC Irvine science and engineering researchers named today as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science represent the largest class this year of any university or institution in the US.

Harmonizing Biobank Research Conference in 2009
How can we maximize the value and use of epidemiological biobanks by harmonizing efforts between countries?

Tufts University Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos named as AAAS Fellow
Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos's research investigates ways to produce high-grade oxygen for fuel cells using reduced amounts of precious metals.

First experimental evidence for speedy adaptation to pesticides by worm species
Scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia and the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon, in Portugal, have shown that populations of the worm Caenhorabditis elegans become resistance to pesticides in 20 generations, that is, in only 80 days.

Not just for depression anymore
Tel Aviv University research shows Prozac can fight cancer drug resistance.

MRI brain scans accurate in early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
Based on findings of a new study, researchers at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Center conclude that MRI brain scans should be included as a diagnostic test for early Alzheimer's disease.

Miscarriage and infertility treatment increase pre-eclampsia risk
Repeated miscarriages and hormone treatment for infertility give an increased risk of pre-eclampsia among pregnant women.

Experts argue nano food-additives require new oversight
Nanotechnology policy experts are urging that food additives that contain nanoscale materials be subject to new safety testing to ensure that their use does not pose unintended risks.

Men, women give to charity differently, says new research from Texas A&M faculty
To whom would you rather give money: a needy person in your neighborhood or a needy person in a foreign country?

AAAS and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine announce 2008 Fellow
Joseph H. Nadeau, Ph.D., James H. Jewel Professor and Chair of Genetics Department at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow.

Carnegie's Field and Koshland elected AAAS Fellows
Christopher B. Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, and Douglas E.

New manual presents robust, state-of-the-art proteomics methods for teaching and research
The new book

Timetable for Puget Sound restoration suffers setback
The slow natural restoration of hazardous sediments mired beneath the Puget Sound is progressing, but researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory warn that this recovery process may take 10 to 30 years longer than first predicted, because of increased urban growth and its associated untreated runoff.

ALMA observatory equipped with its first antenna
High in the Atacama region in northern Chile, one of the world's most advanced telescopes has just passed a major milestone.

Boston College Psychology Prof. Lisa Feldman Barrett named 2008 AAAS Fellow
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded the distinction of Fellow to Boston College Psychology Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, a leader in the field of emotion research.

Dangerous sandwiches
The unusual case of a woman who regularly fainted while eating sandwiches or fizzy drinks is explored in a case report in this week's edition of the Lancet, written by Dr.

AIUM to Host 2009 Annual Convention in New York
Registration is open for the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 2009 Annual Convention and Preconvention Program to be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, New York, Thursday through Sunday, April 2-5, 2009.

Humans and chimps register faces by using similar brain regions
Chimpanzees recognize their pals by using some of the same brain regions that switch on when humans register a familiar face.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation devotes special issue to traumatic brain injury
The editors of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation are pleased to announce a special supplement to the December issue, highlighting traumatic brain injury.

'Making connections'
Top-level research institutions in the UK and Israel will collaborate, thanks to a bold new initiative of Weizmann UK.

2009 DOE INCITE projects allocated at ORNL
In 2009, ORNL will make nearly 470 million processor hours available on Jaguar, its Cray XT supercomputer.

LSUHSC's Hill selected as Fellow of AAAS
James M. Hill, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology, pharmacology, microbiology and neuroscience at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, has been awarded the distinction of American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.

VistaGen, WARF sign license agreement for human embryonic stem cell technology
VistaGen Therapeutics and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation have signed a license for human embryonic stem cell patents for the development and commercialization of stem cell-based research tools.

USP and NIBSC to collaborate on improved quality standards for biological medicines
To improve the quality of the rapidly expanding array of biological medicines, the US Pharmacopeial Convention has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Biological Standards Board, which manages the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control of the United Kingdom.

When scientists take on science education
A greater commitment by science faculty to focus on science education could drive education reform at universities and K-12 schools, according to a new report by a team of five researchers from the California State University system and one from Purdue University.

Annual Congress European Association of Urology: highlights in Stockholm
The 24th Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology will be held from March 17-21, 2009 in the Stockholm International Fairs.

Common infant virus may trigger type 1 diabetes
Human parechovirus is a harmless virus which is encountered by most infants and displays few symptoms.

Stem cells and leukemia battle for marrow microenvironment
Learning how leukemia takes over privileged

Singapore research team first place in Brain-Computer Interface contest
Brain-Computer Interface research team at Singapore's Infocomm Research has won first place in the worldwide BCI Competition IV, 2008, sponsored by NIH, Berlin Institute of Technology and other international research organizations.

8 ASU faculty elected as AAAS Fellows
Eight Arizona State University faculty members are among the 486 newly elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a prestigious international scientific society.

Common treatment for men's pelvic pain proves ineffective, Queen's-led study shows
A commonly-prescribed drug for men suffering from a painful pelvic condition failed to significantly reduce patients' symptoms in an international study led by Queen's University professor and urologist at Kingston General Hospital, Curtis Nickel.

Synthetic biology key in the 21st century
Among the 75 people Esquire magazine recently chose as the most influential in the 21st century are three researchers in an emerging discipline that combines science and engineering in order to design and build novel biological functions and systems -- otherwise known as synthetic biology.

Study indicates how we make proper movements
How do we make proper movements? A new study in Psychological Science suggests that when we see an object, a number of motor programs in the brain are involuntarily activated (each with a different potential movement we can make), which all compete with one another.

AAAS and UTSA announces 2008 Fellows Ravi Sandhu and Miguel Yacaman
University of Texas at San Antonio researchers Ravi Sandhu & Miguel J.

New Year starts with focus on healthy living
The UK Society for Behavioral Medicine annual conference will take place in Exeter from Jan.

Ode to joy and serenity and curiosity and ...
University of North Carolina psychologist Barbara Fredrickson uses the antics of patas monkeys as both an example and metaphor for her

Panic attacks linked to higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease, especially in younger people
People who have been diagnosed with panic attacks or panic disorder have a greater risk of subsequently developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack than the normal population, with higher rates occurring in younger people, according to research published in Europe's leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal today.

Blocking the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
It's as simple as A, T, G, C. Northwestern University scientists have exploited the Watson-Crick base pairing of DNA to provide a defensive tool that could be used to fight the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Multiple antenatal steroid courses do not improve preterm birth outcomes and can decrease baby size
Multiple courses of antenatal corticosteroids, every 14 days, do not improve outcomes for premature babies are associated with a decreased baby weight, length and head circumference at birth.

Abrupt climate change: United States report findings
The United States faces the potential for abrupt climate change in the 21st century that could pose clear risks to society in terms of our ability to adapt. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to