Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 28, 2009
Schizophrenia mouse model should improve understanding and treatment of the disorder
Scientists have created what appears to be a schizophrenic mouse by reducing the inhibition of brain cells involved in complex reasoning and decisions about appropriate social behavior.

USGS science picks
In this edition of Science Picks, learn how scientists are forecasting hazards like volcanoes and landslides, and read about a wolf named Brutus, who emails scientists from the North Pole!

'Notch'ing up a role in the multisystem disease tuberous sclerosis complex
Two independent teams of researchers have identified a role for enhanced activation of the signaling protein Notch in tumors characterized by inactivation of either the TSC1 or the TSC2 protein.

New RNA interference technique can silence up to 5 genes
Researchers at MIT and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals report this week that they have successfully used RNA interference to turn off multiple genes in the livers of mice, an advance that could lead to new treatments for diseases of the liver and other organs.

Johns Hopkins scientists discover a controller of brain circuitry
By combining a research technique that dates back 136 years with modern molecular genetics, a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist has been able to see how a mammal's brain shrewdly revisits and reuses the same molecular cues to control the complex design of its circuits.

There may be a 'party' in your genes
Genetics play a pivotal role in shaping how individual's identify with political parties, according to an article in a recent issue of Political Research Quarterly, the official journal of the Western Political Science Association.

First molars provide insight into evolution of great apes, humans
The timing of molar emergence and its relation to growth and reproduction in apes is being reported by scientists at Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins in the Dec.

Exposure to tobacco smoke in childhood home associated with early emphysema in adulthood
Children regularly exposed to tobacco smoke at home were more likely to develop early emphysema in adulthood.

Cockroaches offer inspiration for running robots
The sight of a cockroach scurrying for cover may be nauseating, but the insect is also a biological and engineering marvel, and is providing researchers at Oregon State University with what they call

BBS proteins shown to run an export business that protects cilia
A protein complex mutated in human disease removes excess signaling molecules to prevent them from damaging cilia, say researchers from UMass Medical School.

Superatoms mimic elements: Research gives new perspective on periodic table
Research at Penn State has shown that certain combinations of elemental atoms have electronic signatures that mimic the electronic signatures of other elements.

Drug-resistant urinary tract infections spreading worldwide
A sudden worldwide increase in an antibiotic-resistant bacterium is cause for concern, according to a review in f1000 Medicine Reports.

Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons
How an individual vomeronasal sensory neuron (VSN) transduces chemical signals into electrical signals has been a mystery.

How amyloid beta reduces plasticity related to synaptic signaling
The early stages of Alzheimer's disease are thought to occur at the synapse, since synapse loss is associated with memory dysfunction.

JCI table of contents: Dec. 28, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published Dec.

Molecular chaperone keeps bacterial proteins from slow-dancing to destruction
Just like teenagers at a prom, proteins are tended by chaperones whose job it is to prevent unwanted interactions among immature clients.

Couples are better able to cope with health shocks than singles: UBC study
Marital status plays a significant role in how individuals cope economically with disability and health shocks, according to a working paper by University of British Columbia economists Giovanni Gallipoli and Laura Turner.

Small molecules found to protect cells in multiple models of Parkinson's disease
Several structurally similar small molecules appear capable of protecting cells from alpha-synuclein toxicity, a hallmark of Parkinson's disease.

GE Healthcare to evaluate and develop novel imaging technology
A novel molecular imaging technology aimed at rapid diagnosis of cell death in organs such as the brain and heart has been licensed by the Medical College of Wisconsin to GE Healthcare.

A 'fountain of youth' for stem cells?
Stems cells used for transplantation in the nervous system to provide neural regeneration are fragile, but can be kept

Common mechanism underlies many diseases of excitability
Inherited mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels are associated with many different human diseases, including genetic forms of epilepsy and chronic pain.

Researchers find clues to why some continue to eat when full
New research in mice by UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists suggest that ghrelin might also work in the brain to make some people keep eating

Student sleuths using DNA reveal zoo of 95 species in NYC homes -- and new evidence of food fraud
Two New York City high school students exploring their homes using the latest high-tech DNA analysis techniques discover a veritable zoo of 95 animal species surrounding them, in everything from fridges to furniture, from sidewalks to shipping boxes, and from feather dusters to floor corners.

Rice scientists divide and conquer
Half a protein is better than none, and in this case, it's way better than a whole one.
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