Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 11, 2009
Treatment to improve degenerating muscle gains strength
A study appearing in Science Translational Medicine puts scientists one step closer to clinical trials to test a gene delivery strategy to improve muscle mass and function in patients with certain degenerative muscle disorders.

NJIT, US Marine Corps Reserve Association host counter-terrorism symposium
A free, day-long terrorism preparedness symposium covering counter-terrorist strategies and highlighting new and developing technologies to combat threats and regional concerns will be held at NJIT on Nov.

American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry agree to joint global sustainability efforts
Two of the world's largest chemical societies today pledged to cooperate in efforts to develop sustainable energy, prevent food and water shortages and overcome other global challenges that threaten the sustainability of our planet.

Mouse gene suppresses Alzheimer's plaques and tangles
Investigators at Burnham Institute for Medical Research have identified a novel mouse gene that reduces the accumulation of two toxic proteins that are major players in Alzheimer's disease: amyloid beta and tau.

Georgia Tech focuses on experimental systems and computational sciences at SC09
Georgia Tech, an emerging leader in high-performance computing research and education, will showcase scientific research at the technical edge at next week's SC09, the international conference on high-performance computing, networking, storage and analysis scheduled for Nov.

Barrow study identifies new way to biopsy brain tumors in real time
A new miniature, hand-held microscope may allow more precise removal of brain tumors and an easier recognition of tumor locations during surgery.

When seconds count: Interventional radiology treatment for pulmonary embolism saves lives
Catheter-directed therapy or catheter-directed thrombolysis -- an interventional radiology treatment that uses targeted image-guided drug delivery with specially designed catheters to dissolve dangerous blood clots in the lungs -- saves lives and should be considered a first-line treatment option for massive pulmonary embolism, note researchers in the November Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

Aileron collaborates study in Nature: Stapled peptides inhibit Notch1 transcription factor
Aileron Therapeutics announced today that its collaborators, James E. Bradner, M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and Gregory L.

Society of Interventional Radiology offers resources on stroke, carotid artery disease
The Society of Interventional Radiology offers numerous resources -- including publications and the first-ever Catheter Lysis of Thromboembolic Stroke course -- for interventional radiologists, neuroradiologists, neurointerventionists, body interventionalists and IR and INR fellows to aid in the understanding of stroke and carotid artery disease.

New research center to focus on cardiac safety and innovation
The University of Rochester Medical Center has announced the creation of a new center that will assist researchers studying the electrical activity of the heart with the goal of improving drug safety, understanding cardiac arrhythmias, and developing new electrocardiograph technologies.

Neural mechanism reveals why dyslexic brain has trouble distinguishing speech from noise
New research reveals that children with developmental dyslexia have a deficit in a brain mechanism involved in the perception of speech in a noisy environment.

Aisle placements affect grocery sales, UB research shows
Supermarkets could increase their sales of related items, such as chips and soft drinks, by moving the items closer to each other in their stores, according to research by Ram Bezawada, assistant professor of marketing in the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Iowa State engineers develop 3-D software to give doctors, students a view inside the body
Iowa State's Eliot Winer and James Oliver have developed technology that turns flat medical scans into vibrant 3-D images that can be shifted, adjusted, zoomed and replayed at will.

Largest-ever database for liver proteins may lead to treatments for hepatitis
Scientists at a group of 11 research centers in China are reporting for the first time assembly of the largest-ever collection of data about the proteins produced by genes in a single human organ.

Energy-saving powder
Max Planck chemists are using a simple method to convert methane to methanol -- something that has the potential to exploit previously unused reserves of natural gas.

New brain findings on dyslexic children
The vast majority of school-aged children can focus on the voice of a teacher amid the cacophony of the typical classroom thanks to a brain that automatically focuses on relevant, predictable and repeating auditory information, according to new research from Northwestern University.

A lightning strike in Africa helps take the pulse of the sun
Tel Aviv University's Professor Colin Price has developed a more definitive and reliable tool for measuring the sun's rotation when sunspots aren't visible -- and even when they are -- based on observations of common lightning strikes on earth.

Understanding mechanical properties of silicon nanowires paves way for nanodevices
Silicon nanowires are attracting attention from the electronics industry due to the drive for smaller devices, from cell phones to computers.

Emory, Georgia Tech, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta team up on kidney replacement devices for kids
When children need kidney dialysis because of disease or congenital defects, doctors are forced to adapt adult-size dialysis equipment.

£7.5 million ($12.6 million) collaborations lead UK research community's response to H1N1 pandemic
Leading UK research funders today announced £7.5 million of funding for a series of projects aimed at understanding the development and spread of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 -- or

IACC includes vaccine research objective in strategic plan for autism research
Autism Speaks is encouraged by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee decision to include vaccine research studies in the objectives of the updated Strategic Plan for Autism Research.

New nano color sorters from Molecular Foundry
Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have created bowtie-shaped antennae that function as the first tunable nano color sorters, able to capture, filter and steer light at the nanoscale.

Underground lines that bypass monuments
A team of mathematicians from the Engineering and Architecture Schools of the University of Seville has created a method to design underground lines whereby a city's historical buildings are unaffected.

Longevity tied to genes that preserve tips of chromosomes
A team led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has found a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres -- the tip ends of chromosomes.

Study of Mexican swine flu cases shows young people most likely to be infected but elderly most likely to die from the disease
A study of Mexican swine flu cases shows that while infants and people aged 39 years and under are the most likely to get infected, elderly people have the highest swine flu mortality rates.

Nobel laureate claims the 2010 Herbert Tabor Lectureship
Phillip A. Sharp, a world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry and an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship.

Trimming US health care spending will require new approaches, study finds
Slowing the growth in US health-care spending may be possible, but it will require adoption of an array of strategies as well as an improved approach to moving promising strategies into widespread use, according to a new study.

Reducing greenhouse gases may not be enough to slow climate change
Because land use changes are responsible for 50 percent of warming in the US, policymakers need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions.

2-party US political system contrary to founding fathers' vision of America
Despite the unprecedented public involvement in the 2008 US presidential election process, third-party candidates and supporters were shut out of the dominant two-party US political system.

AAAS exhibit featuring photographs of climate change opens Nov. 18
As world leaders prepare for the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in early December, the American Association for the Advancement of Science will open a new exhibit with striking photos of climate change around the world.

Expert on terrorism warns about the implantation of radical Islamism in Spain since 3/11
The UGR professor Javier Jordán has analysed the information of the 28 most relevant police actions carried out since March 2004 against the jihadist networks in Spain.

Researchers 'notch' a victory toward new kind of cancer drug
Scientists have devised an innovative way to disarm a key protein considered to be

Texas Children's discharges first pediatric patient with implanted mechanical heart device
Texas Children's Hospital is the nation's first pediatric hospital to discharge a child while on an intracorporeal ventricular assist device, a feat previously accomplished only at adult institutions.

Africa's rarest monkey had an intriguing sexual past, DNA study confirms
The most extensive DNA study to-date of Africa's rarest monkey reveals that the species had an intriguing sexual past.

A bubbling ball of gas
The SUNRISE telescope delivers spectacular pictures of the sun's surface.

Drug industry, nonprofits join forces to fight world's neglected diseases
Drug companies and nonprofit organizations are joining forces to develop new drugs and vaccines to target so-called

New mechanism explains how the body prevents formation of blood vessels
Researchers at Uppsala University, in collaboration with colleagues in Sweden and abroad, have identified an entirely new mechanism by which a specific protein in the body inhibits formation of new blood vessels.

K-State program will give young professionals skills to protect water resources
K-State's Kansas Environmental Leadership Program is developing an interdisciplinary course and curriculum on environmental leadership and water.

Workplace BPA exposure increases risk of male sexual dysfunction
Study found high levels of workplace exposure to Bisphenol-A may increase the risk of reduced sexual function in men.

K-State faculty receive national awards from American Society of Agronomy
The dean of Kansas State University's College of Agriculture and two faculty members from K-State's department of agronomy are recipients of national honors from the American Society of Agronomy.

Worksite wellness programs may reduce employee absenteeism
Emory University Rollins School of Public Health researchers will present Nov.

Earth's early ocean cooled more than a billion years earlier than thought: Stanford study
The global ocean covering the Earth 3.4 billion years ago was far cooler than has been thought, according to Stanford University researchers who analyzed isotope ratios in rocks formed on that ancient ocean floor.

Missouri Botanical Garden publishes 32nd volume of flora of China
The Flora of China is a collaborative project to publish a comprehensive catalog of wild plants in China.

Rice sociologist looks at pediatric physicians' views on religion, spirituality
Pediatricians and pediatric oncologists express differing views on religion and spirituality, largely based on the types of patients they treat, according to a survey that will appear in the current edition of the journal Social Problems.

Vibrations key to efficiency of green fluorescent protein
Green fluorescent protein has invaded thousands of research labs around the world, thanks to its versatility in labeling cells and organisms.

Mercyhurst seeks to enhance protocols for recovery and analysis of burned human remains
Mercyhurst College Department of Applied Forensic Science is staging a series of mock fatal fire scenes as part of NIJ-funded research to enhance protocols for the recovery and analysis of burned human remains.

Exploration by explosion: Studying the inner realm of living cells
Scientists in Washington, D.C., are reporting development and successful tests of a new way for exploring the insides of living cells, the microscopic building blocks of all known plants and animals.

Athletes on performance enhancers more likely to abuse alcohol, other drugs
College athletes who use performance-enhancing substances may be at heightened risk of misusing alcohol and using recreational drugs as well, according to new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Early life on Earth may have developed more quickly than thought
The Earth's climate was far cooler -- perhaps more than 50 degrees -- billions of years ago, which could mean conditions for life all over the planet were more conducive than previously believed, according to a research team that includes a Texas A&M University expert who specializes in geobiology.

Protecting World Heritage Sites from the ravages of climate change
Researchers are investigating the impact of climate change on UNESCO World Heritage Sites through the EU project

Faulty body clock may make kids bipolar
Malfunctioning circadian clock genes may be responsible for bipolar disorder in children.

Teens less likely to wash hands when cooking, more likely to cross-contaminate raw food than adults
A Kansas State University study has shown that when preparing frozen foods, adolescents are less likely than adults to wash their hands and are more susceptible to cross-contaminating raw foods while cooking.

Exoplanets clue to sun's curious chemistry
A ground-breaking census of 500 stars, 70 of which are known to host planets, has successfully linked the long-standing

Barrow scientists partner with Hispanic 'El Grupo' in Alzheimer's research
Researchers from the Barrow Neurological Institute and aging Hispanic alumni from Phoenix Union High School are partnering in a major research trial to study Alzheimer's disease in the ethnic community.

Novel mouse gene reduces major pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease
A new study reveals that a previously undiscovered mouse gene reduces the two major pathological perturbations commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

UT Southwestern aids national effort to recruit volunteers for medical research
A new national initiative involving UT Southwestern Medical Center will match volunteers who want to take part in medical research studies with the scientists who are leading those studies.

Why can't chimps speak?
If humans are genetically related to chimps, why did our brains develop the innate ability for language and speech while theirs did not?

NOAA deploys new 'smart buoy' off Annapolis
NOAA deployed the seventh in a series of

Small Things Considered wins big at PRNews' 2009 Nonprofit Awards
Small Things Considered, a microbiology blog published by the American Society for Microbiology, has been honored with a nonprofit public relations award from PR News for best blog.

Right first time: Pioneering new methods of drug manufacture
Engineers at the University of Leeds, UK, have developed a simple technology which can be used in existing chemical reactors to ensure
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