Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 04, 2009
Loyola fellow receives Amgen grant to study treatments for older leukemia patients
Dr. Aileen Go of Loyola University Health System, who is studying treatment options for older leukemia and lymphoma patients, has won a prestigious Amgen Foundation Fellowship grant.

Stellar family in crowded, violent neighborhood proves to be surprisingly normal
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have obtained one of the sharpest views ever of the Arches Cluster -- an extraordinary dense cluster of young stars near the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way.

Biologists devise unifying framework to explain evolutionary puzzles
Leading theoretical biologists, ecologists and mathematicians will gather at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, June 10-12, to develop a new unified framework for evolutionary biology.

Splash, babble, sploosh: Computer algorithm simulates the sound of water
Cornell University computer graphics researchers use new algorithms to simulate a wide range of the sounds of water and other liquids.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia physician-scientists present at 2009 American Transplant Congress
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center physician-scientists presented new research at the 2009 American Transplant Congress in Boston, May 30 to June 3.

Immigrants overcome great odds to raise children in foreign lands, say researchers
A recent surge in immigration rates has led psychologists to study how these families are coping and thriving in their adopted countries.

Boy or girl? In lizards, egg size matters
Whether baby lizards will turn out to be male or female is a more complicated question than scientists would have ever guessed, according to a new report published online on June 4 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

FAO/IAEA Symposium to address animal production and health
An international symposium to be held in Vienna next week will focus on the use of nuclear technologies to enhance animal nutrition and reproduction strategies and to detect and control animal-origin diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as swine and avian influenza.

Protein may be strongest indicator of rare lung disease, study shows
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered a protein in the lungs that can help in determining progression of the rare lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Engineered pig stem cells bridge the mouse-human gap
Researchers have created a line of embryonic-like stem cells from adult pigs.

June 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
GEOLOGY includes details on the May 12, 2008, Wenchuan earthquake; a natural gas-hydrate system offshore of Korea; findings that abiogenic methane emissions may be more prevalent than originally thought; two studies on the nature of mud; and three fossil studies, one finding evidence for lush forests and rich animal life in the Eocene High Arctic, and two concentrating on bones in Montana, Madagascar, and Sharktooth Hill, California.

Birds use social learning to enhance nest defense
Reed warblers live with the threat that a cuckoo bird will infiltrate their nest, remove one of their eggs and replace it with the cuckoo's own.

What everyone should know about Earth sciences summarized in free NSF-funded e-booklet
If you're clueless about petrology, paleobiology and plate tectonics, the National Science Foundation and the Earth Science Literacy Initiative have just released a free pamphlet offering a concise primer on what all Americans should know about the Earth sciences.

Bacteria from the deep can clean up heavy metals
A novel species of bacteria, Brachybacterium strain Mn32A, isolated from Pacific Ocean sediments, could provide a powerful clean-up tool for heavy metal pollution.

ESA and UAB MELiSSA Pilot Plant to prepare for human planetary exploration
The laboratory is part of the European Space Agency MELiSSA project, and aims to be a unique facility in Europe for the demonstration of Closed Loop Life Support Systems, paving the way to human autonomy during long-duration space missions.

Jefferson receives $1.7 million grant to study stem cells in intervertebral discs of the spine
Scientists at Jefferson Medical College have received a five-year, $1.7 million National Institutes of Health grant funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to study mechanisms regulating stem cell self-renewal and differentiation with the aim of regenerating diseased and painful intervertebral discs.

At long last, how plants make eggs
Scientists at the University of California-Davis, have discovered that a plant hormone called auxin is responsible for development of the egg cell in a plant's embryo sac.

Scottish public sector -- new leadership
A fresh approach to public sector leadership is vital if the Scottish Government's vision of a more successful country is to realized -- especially given challenges such as the current financial situation and a general loss of trust in leaders -- according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development announces collaboration with National Cancer Institute to develop novel cell therapies to treat cancer
Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a unit of Centocor Research & Development Inc., has entered into a five-year CRADA with the National Cancer Institute, with Steven A.

Graphene may have advantages over copper for IC interconnects at the nanoscale
The unique properties of thin layers of graphite -- known as graphene -- make the material attractive for a wide range of potential electronic devices.

Nurses: Providing angioplasty patient care in and out of the cath lab
The Cardiovascular Nurse and Technologist Symposium at TCT 2009 will examine the latest advances in interventional, pharmacologic and clinical/administrative strategies for the management of the cardiovascular patient.

USC researchers present diabetes findings at American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) researchers will present findings at the American Diabetes Association scientific sessions June 5-9, 2009.

Importance of preventing congestion in heart failure
Preventing vascular congestion is an important mediator in heart failure, reports a study in the June issue of the Journal of Cardiac Failure, published by Elsevier.

Ross et al.: 'Report: Reconstructing the evolution of laughter in great apes and humans'
Like human infants, young apes are known to hoot and holler when you tickle them.

UT Southwestern's Olson wins prestigious French award for heart research
Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been awarded the Institut de France's prestigious Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prize for his work on gene regulation in the cardiovascular system.

Canadian-based UN coral reef expert honored at world meeting in Australia
World experts meeting in Australia have presented a Canadian-based UN coral reef specialist with a distinguished award for his lifetime of achievement in marine research.

Embracing your primitive nature can help in fight against depression
Stephen Ilardi of the University of Kansas thinks depression primarily stems from modern living: social isolation, fast-food diets, physical inactivity, sleep deprivation and less exposure to the outdoors.

The FDA has approved ankle replacements, so why don't all insurance plans cover them?
It's been a decade since the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first total ankle-replacement system for patients with severe ankle arthritis.

Policies for renewable energy boost economy and jobs
Policies that support renewable energy sources (RES) give a boost to the economy and the number of jobs in the EU.

Mystery solved: Tiny protein-activator responsible for brain cell damage in Huntington disease
Johns Hopkins brain scientists have figured out why a faulty protein accumulates in cells everywhere in the bodies of people with Huntington's disease, but only kills cells in the part of the brain that controls movement, causing negligible damage to tissues elsewhere.

Bullies have harassed 14 percent of workers over past 6 months
David Gonzalez and Jose Luis Grana have carried out a comprehensive study into the phenomenon of workplace abuse or bullying in Spain.

Palliative Medicine to be official journal of the Association for Palliative Medicine
SAGE has today announced that the flagship medical journal Palliative Medicine is to become the official journal of the Association for Palliative Medicine.

Sleuths follow lung stem cells for generations to shed light on healing
More than one kind of stem cell is required to support the upkeep and repair of the lungs, according to a new study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

New technology for safer solvents
A new facility that will revolutionize the industrial processes of electropolishing, metal oxide processing and electroplating -- the pioneering Ionics Liquid Demonstrator -- has been launched at the University of Leicester.

Study gives clues to how adrenal cancer forms
When telomeres -- the bits of DNA at the end of chromosomes -- become dysfunctional, it can trigger cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.

Different genes cause loss of body parts in similar fish
New research shows that when two species of stickleback fish evolved and lost their pelvises and body armor, the changes were caused by different genes in each species.

New proxy reveals how humans have disrupted the nitrogen cycle
Researchers from Brown University and the University of Washington have found a new proxy to measure the impact of fossil fuel emissions on the global nitrogen cycle.

Midge keeps invasive mosquito in check, aiding native mosquitoes
The larvae of a tiny fly can influence the fate of native and invasive mosquitoes, with implications for human health.

Nanoparticle created to attack cardiovascular plaque
Scientists and engineers at UC Santa Barbara and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have developed a nanoparticle that can attack plaque -- a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

Easily grossed out? You might be a conservative!
Are you someone who squirms when confronted with slime, shudders at stickiness or gets grossed out by gore?

Caltech scientists create nanoscale zipper cavity that responds to single photons of light
Physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a nanoscale device that can be used for force detection, optical communication and more.

REDD payments could protect orangutans, pygmy elephants in Borneo
A new report published today provides compelling evidence that paying to conserve billions of tons of carbon stored in tropical forests could also protect orangutans, pygmy elephants and other wildlife at risk of extinction.

Bats recognize the individual voices of other bats
Bats can use the characteristics of other bats' voices to recognize each other, according to a study by researchers from the University of Tuebingen, Germany and the University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz, Germany.

New 'molecular clock' aids dating of human migration history
Researchers at the University of Leeds have devised a more accurate method of dating ancient human migration -- even when no corroborating archaeological evidence exists.

Association found between Parkinson's disease and pesticide exposure in French farm workers
The cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most frequent neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease, is unknown, but in most cases it is believed to involve a combination of environmental risk factors and genetic susceptibility.

A breakthrough toward industrial production of fluorescent nanodiamonds
The laboratory Structure -- Activity of Normal and Pathologic Biomolecules-Inserm, in collaboration with the Material Center of Mines-ParisTech, the NRG-UMR 5060 CNRS/UTBM and the Physic Institute of Stuttgart University, discovered a novel route to fabricate fluorescent nanoparticles from diamond microcrystals.

Bee-killing parasite genome sequenced
Agricultural Research Service scientists have sequenced the genome of a parasite that can kill honey bees.

1 in 4 nursing home residents carry MRSA
MRSA is a major problem in nursing homes with one in four residents carrying the bacteria, a study by Queen's University Belfast and Antrim Area Hospital has found.

Winners of first annual ProSPER.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award announced
Elsevier, the world's leading research publisher of scientific information and the network for the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research (ProSPER.Net) announced today the finalists of the first annual ProSPER.Net-Scopus Young Scientist Award.

Study: Illegal fishing harming present and future New England groundfish fisheries
Weak enforcement combined with fishermen facing serious economic hardships are leading to widespread violations of fisheries regulations along the Northeastern United States coast.

'Shock and kill' research gives new hope for HIV-1 eradication
Latent HIV genes can be

Investigation finds that cigarette smoking does not affect everyone in same way
Dr. Manuel Cosio from the McGill University Health Center, in collaboration with Italian and Spanish scientists, reports in the New England Journal of Medicine that an autoimmune mechanism, compounded by genetic predisposition in COPD, would explain the progression of the disease in some smokers and the evasion in others.

Ratification of human rights treaties makes no difference to health status
A paper in this week's edition of the Lancet concludes that whether or not a country has ratified UN human rights treaties has no effect on the health status of its population.

Afghanistan releases its first-ever list of protected species
The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today that the Afghanistan's National Environment Protection Agency, in an effort to safeguard its natural heritage, has released the country's first-ever list of protected species now banned from hunting or harvest.

Illness, medical bills linked to nearly two-thirds of bankruptcies
Medical problems contributed to nearly two-thirds of all bankruptcies in 2007, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine that will be published online Thursday.

Promising antimicrobial attacks virus, stimulates immune system
A promising antimicrobial agent already known to kill bacteria can also kill viruses and stimulate the innate immune system, according to researchers at National Jewish Health.

New, light-driven nanomotor is simpler, more promising, scientists say
Sunflowers track the sun as it moves from east to west.

J. Craig Venter is keynote speaker at National Science Foundation Conference
J. Craig Venter -- regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous contributions to genomic research -- will be the keynote speaker at a meeting of National Science Foundation-funded researchers who represent efforts to enhance the quality and excellence of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and research through broadening participation by underrepresented groups and institutions.

Scientists identify gene for deadly inherited lung disease
A rare, deadly developmental disorder of the lungs called alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV) that usually kills the infants born with it within the first month of life results from deletions or mutations in the FOXF1 transcription factor gene, said a consortium of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

A new lead for autoimmune disease
A major challenge in treating autoimmune disorders has been suppressing inflammatory attacks on body tissues without generally suppressing immune function.

Researchers solve 'bloodcurdling' mystery
By applying cutting-edge techniques in single-molecule manipulation, researchers at Harvard University have uncovered a fundamental feedback mechanism that the body uses to regulate the clotting of blood.

'Pelvis has left the building'
New research shows that when two species of stickleback fish evolved and lost their pelvises and body armor, the changes were caused by different genes in each species.

Family obligation in Chinese homes lowers teenage depression symptoms
A new study of Chinese-American youth has found that family obligation, for example caring for siblings or helping elders, plays a positive role in the mental health of Chinese-American adolescents and may prevent symptoms of depression.

Jefferson researchers identify critical marker of response to gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer
A protein related to aggressive cancers can actually improve the efficacy of gemcitabine at treating pancreatic cancer, according to a priority report in Cancer Research, published by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

Scientists tackle the mystery of white-nose syndrome in bats
Leading experts in the fields of bat physiology, fungal ecology, ecotoxicology, disease and environmental modeling, among others, will gather at a workshop at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), June 29-July 1, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to explore the disease and to develop solutions to manage it.

Buffalo to host major international conference on biomedical ontology in July
Whether and how medical personnel and their digital systems can talk to one another in a meaningful way is a subject pertinent to the health of patients about whom they

Scientists examine perceptions of risk and the spread of disease
How human behavior changes the spread of emerging infectious diseases, and how the spread of disease simultaneously changes human behavior, will be among the topics discussed by scientists at a meeting at the National Institute for Biological and Mathematical Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, June 7-9.

High population density triggers cultural explosions
Increasing population density, rather than boosts in human brain power, appears to have catalyzed the emergence of modern human behavior, according to a new study by University College London scientists published in the journal Science.

Improving livestock productivity in Honduras
Honduras is poised to bring a set of integrated laboratory-based services for the benefit of cattle farmers, as an IAEA-supported project to improve livestock productivity moves into its third phase.

New hull coatings for Navy ships cut fuel use, protect environment
New hull coatings being developed by the US Office of Naval Research are showing promise in reducing the build-up of marine crustaceans -- namely barnacles -- on ships' hulls, optimizing vessel performance and dramatically reducing fuel costs.

Penn study demonstrates new way to boost immune memory
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers have found that a common anti-diabetic drug might enhance the effectiveness of preventive cancer vaccines.

MSU researchers receive $400,000 in first wave of stimulus funding
A pair of Michigan State University professors have received a total of nearly $400,000 for their cardiovascular research projects as part of the first wave of stimulus funding from federal agencies.

Over 60 percent of all US bankruptcies attributable to medical problems
Over 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were driven by medical incidents.

Crowded emergency departments pose greater risks for patients with heart attacks
Patients with heart attacks and other forms of chest pain are three to five times more likely to experience serious complications after hospital admission when they are treated in a crowded emergency department, according to a new study published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine.

Autoinflammatory disease model reveals role for innate, not adaptive, immunity
Researchers at the University of California -- San Diego School of Medicine have developed the first mouse model for autoinflammatory diseases, disorders that involve the over-activation of the body's innate, primitive immune system.

New interdisciplinary volume focuses on advances in stem cell research
A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,

News briefs from the June issue of Chest
News briefs from the June issue of Chest highlight pulmonary hypertension, managing pain in the critically ill patient and sleep disorders in children.

Ottawa scientists discover new way to enhance stem cells to stimulate muscle regeneration
Ottawa scientists have discovered a powerful new way to stimulate muscle regeneration, paving the way for new treatments for debilitating conditions such as muscular dystrophy. 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