Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 04, 2010
Possible vaccine for mesothelioma proven safe
Researchers have demonstrated the safety of a potential vaccine against mesothelioma, a rare cancer associated primarily with asbestos exposure.

Queen's spearheads £1M international research effort into liver fluke
Queen's University Belfast is spearheading an £1 ($1.5) million international research effort to combat liver fluke -- a parasite which causes disease in livestock, resulting in billions of pounds in losses every year to farmers around the world.

Mussels -- material artists with grip
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces believe they have uncovered the basis how marine mussels use the byssus, a bundle of tough and extensible fibers, to fasten securely to wave-swept rocky coastlines.

Experts reaffirm asteroid impact caused mass extinction
Responding to challenges to the hypothesis that an asteroid impact caused a mass extinction on Earth 65 million years, a panel of 41 scientists re-analyzed data and provided new evidence, concluding that an impact in Mexico was indeed the cause of the mass extinction.

Emergency online communities
Online social networks could help with communications and recovery for people with disabilities following major natural disasters, or even terrorist attack, according to a research paper in the International Journal of Emergency Management.

CT-scan screening for LAM in women with collapsed lung is cost-effective
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that using high-resolution CT-scans to screen for lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM, is cost-effective in non-smoking women between 25 and 54 who come to the emergency room for the first time with a collapsed lung.

Breakthrough reveals blood vessel cells are key to growing unlimited amounts of adult stem cells
In a leap toward making stem cell therapy widely available, researchers have discovered that endothelial cells, the most basic building blocks of the vascular system, produce growth factors that can grow copious amounts of adult stem cells and their progeny over the course of weeks.

What does the social sciences do for me?
Your average conversation down the pub on a Friday night could include topics such as

Veteran Great Lakes area journalist wins prestigious American Chemical Society award
Ron Seely, an accomplished reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal, will be awarded the American Chemical Society's prestigious James T.

Lizard moms choose the right genes for the right gender offspring
Brown anole lizards make an interesting choice when deciding which males should father their offspring.

Generation 2012: What have the Olympics ever done for us?
The youth of London have an urgent message for the world about life in the capital and what the Olympic Games and its legacy will really mean for those living in its shadow.

Study identifies key cause of chronic leukemia progression
Researchers have discovered a key reason why chronic myeloid leukemia progresses from its more-treatable chronic phase to a life-threatening phase called blast crisis.

Psychosurgery makes gentle comeback
Psychosurgery is making a comeback. Recently published case series have shown encouraging results of so-called deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive disorders, and Tourette syndrome.

AIAA members to receive awards at April conference
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will honor three of its members at an awards luncheon at noon on April 14, in conjunction with the AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, being held April 12 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

System to facilitate Internet use by disabled is evaluated
It is not enough to have a Braille keyboard or a computer that speaks.

Researchers find further evidence linking Epstein-Barr virus and risk of multiple sclerosis
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and a team of collaborators have observed for the first time that the risk of multiple sclerosis increases by many folds following infection with the Epstein-Barr virus.

Between nostalgia and innovation -- Scotland explored through social science
Like the rest of the UK, Scotland is undergoing social and economic change.

Older investors a springboard for dividends, study says
A key trigger for whether companies pay dividends is simply whether those firms are based in communities with large populations of older people, who are typically partial to the income-boosting benefits of dividends, a new study found.

American Society for Microbiology honors Caroline S. Harwood
The 2010 American Society for Microbiology Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology is being presented to Caroline S.

From 2-trillion-degree heat, researchers create new matter -- and new questions
A worldwide team of researchers, including 10 from Texas A&M University, have for the first time created a particle that is believed to have been in existence immediately after the creation of the universe -- the so-called

By going 'back to the drawing board,' 2 teams advance on answers to TB epidemic
When people get exposed to the mycobacterium responsible for tuberculosis, some will become sick with a disease that is a major cause of mortality around the world while others simply don't.

Genetic variant offers protection against TB and leprosy
A study into why some people are more resistant than others to diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy has identified a new genetic variant which affects susceptibility to these diseases.

Henry Ford Hospital study shows link between vitamin D, skin cancer
A Henry Ford Hospital study has shown a link between vitamin D levels and basal cell carcinoma, a finding that could lead researchers to better understand the development of the most common form of skin cancer.

Intense war news reduces ability to remember ads
A new study shows that the more graphic and intense war news is, the less likely that viewers -- regardless of political beliefs -- will remember the advertising that follows the news.

Exotic flowers help bees stay busy in winter
Recent years have seen an unusual rise in the number of bees about in the cold winter months.

Engineering team developing helicopter that would investigate nuclear disasters
Students at Virginia Tech's Unmanned Systems Laboratory are perfecting an autonomous helicopter they hope will never be used for its intended purpose.

2010 Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce the 2010 Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting, July 27-August 1, 2010, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Stress -- don't let it grind you down
People who are stressed by daily problems or trouble at work seem to be more likely to grind their teeth at night.

Treatment errors
Current health care is not as safe as it should be.

Groundbreaking research to find vaccine for hepatitis C
Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in the UK are developing a vaccine for hepatitis C.

Physicians come together on National Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Screening Day
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer death among men and women nationwide, yet only half of people who need CRC screening receive it.

Scientists discover how ocean bacterium turns carbon into fuel
Researchers have uncovered details about how cyanobacteria, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth, digest carbon.

Leading toxicologists highlight advances to safeguard public health
The government's leading toxicologists and environmental health scientists will share their latest scientific accomplishments, offer continuing education courses, discuss funding and training opportunities, receive input on future research priorities and more at the Society of Toxicology annual meeting.

VIV Europe: COST workshop on animal nutrition and health -- benefiting from research networks
On April 20-21, 2010, COST is organizing a workshop on

Rush to develop stock markets has huge downside
Stock markets, once a way to manage debt and create capital for companies, have seemingly become a status symbol for some nations, or are used as a means for countries to access international funds for development.

Novel criteria to differentiate fibrosis from steatohepatitis
A research team from Germany and Switzerland identified serum transaminase levels below which a reliable cirrhosis assessment by FibroScan (FS) can be performed without interference of coexisting inflammation.

IU study finds no consensus in definitions of 'had sex'
When people say they

Creating a dream breed
Blackspot seabream is a prized fish on many Spanish tables but it grows slowly at sea, is heavily overfished and is incredibly diffcult to farm.

Exotic antimatter detected at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider
Scientists studying high-energy collisions of gold ions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory have found the most massive antinucleus discovered to date.

SeaWeb applauds US decision to support bluefin tuna trade protection
SeaWeb applauded the announcement by the United States that it will support a proposed international trade ban for endangered bluefin tuna, and the ocean conservation organization called for international support for 32 species of red and pink coral as well as for eight shark species proposed for similar protection.

Colorectal cancer in China
A research team from China gained a broader picture of colorectal cancer (CRC) in Guangdong Province and provided important information on the changing epidemiology of this disease over a period of 20 years.

Study shows woody plant encroachment has increased stream flow in the Edwards Plateau
A new study by Texas AgriLife Research scientists finds that contrary to widespread perceptions, springs in the Edwards Plateau, which provide much of the stream flows, have not been declining as a result of increased encroachment of woody plants.

Crowded houses: Why our peripheral vision may not be as random as we think
As you read this, you may notice that the word directly in front of you is clear, but all the surrounding words are hard to make out.

'Match' Madness: Picking upsets a losing strategy
Soon Americans nationwide will begin poring over NCAA men's basketball tournament brackets in their annual attempt at glory -- and maybe even a little cash -- in winning the ubiquitous, albeit illegal, office pool.

Anti-hypertensive drugs to enhance esophageal contraction
A research team from Japan clarified the effects of three different types of anti-hypertensive drugs on the three different segments of esophageal body contractions using a recently developed high-resolution manometric system.

Different signaling pathways of cholangiocarcinoma
Overexpression of receptor tyrosine kinase Met has frequently been found in cholangiocarcinoma.

For California vintners, it's not easy being green
California wine is like Kermit the Frog, suggests a new UCLA-led study.

Apixaban more effective than enoxaparin in preventing thromboembolism after knee surgery
This release contains information on this week's studies appearing in the Lancet.

Surrounded by Science Summit
The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, with support from the National Science Foundation, is hosting

Researchers discover gene that affects susceptibility to TB and clues to how it works
Researchers have identified a gene involved in susceptibility and resistance to tuberculosis, and in the severity of leprosy.

Genome sequencing complete on plodding amoeba that flips into free-swimming flagellate
Scientists with the Joint Genome Institute have sequenced the genome of a weird creature that exists as an amoeba until the food runs out, then turns into a two-tailed swimmer to find new hunting grounds.

Bully galaxy rules the neighborhood
In general, galaxies can be thought of as

Assessing antibiotic breakdown in manure
Agricultural Research Service scientist Scott Yates is studying how oxytetracycline, an antibiotic that is administered to animals, breaks down in cattle manure.

Scientists find signs of 'snowball Earth' amidst early animal evolution
Geologists have found evidence that sea ice extended to the equator 716.5 million years ago, bringing new precision to a

A critical moment in the field of lung cancer
Rapid advances in drug development, genetics and multidisciplinary treatment have brought the field of oncology to a critical moment, says the second European Lung Cancer Conference, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from April 28-May 1, 2010.

Intestinal bacteria drive obesity and metabolic disease in immune-altered mice
Mice lacking a gene called TLR5 have an altered ability to recognize and control bacteria in their intestines, leading them to develop obesity and insulin resistance, which is often referred to as

Mouse work: New insights on a fundamental DNA repair mechanism
A team of researchers from NIST and several universities has demonstrated for the first time the specific activity of the protein NEIL3, one of a group responsible for maintaining the integrity of DNA in humans and other mammals.

Leicester's internationally acclaimed genetics research involved in project into saffron production
Geneticists investigate the ancestry of saffron-producing crocus flowers.

Over-utilization of intravenous proton pump inhibitor in non-intensive care unit patients
A research team from Lebanon assessed the appropriateness of the utilization of proton-pump-inhibitors (PPIs) and their associated cost impact in a university hospital.

Protein shown to be natural inhibitor of aging in fruit fly model
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have identified a protein called Sestrin that serves as a natural inhibitor of aging and age-related pathologies in fruit flies.

Genealogical tourism redefining leisure travel market, professor says
For the work-weary, the word

NTU, Carnegie Mellon University establish dual Ph.D. degree program in engineering
Successful Ph.D. engineering candidates at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and the United States' Carnegie Mellon University will now be able to earn two Ph.D. degrees -- one each from the universities.

CT scan is cost-effective in screening for LAM among women with collapsed lung
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that it is cost-effective to do CT scan screening of nonsmoking women, ages 25-54, who come to the emergency room for the first time with a collapsed lung in order to diagnose and treat those with lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM.

Scientists find new form of prion disease that damages brain arteries
National Institutes of Health scientists investigating how prion diseases destroy the brain have observed a new form of the disease in mice that does not cause the sponge-like brain deterioration typically seen in prion diseases.

Bacterial balance that keeps us healthy
At 3.3 million, microbial genes in our gut outnumber previous estimates for the whole of the human body, EMBL scientists and their collaborators found when establishing a reference gene set for the human gut microbiome.

NIST, NASA launch joint effort to develop new climate satellites
NIST and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have launched a five-year joint effort to improve the quality of data returned by spaceborne climate observation instruments.

Revisiting chicxulub
For decades, scientists have accumulated ever-larger datasets that suggest an enormous space rock crashed into the ocean off the Yucatan Peninsula more than 65 million years ago, resulting in the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction.

Study: Arctic seabed methane stores destabilizing, venting
A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov.

Transcendental Meditation activates default mode network, the brain's natural ground state
An EEG study conducted on college students at American University found they could activate the default mode network (DMN), a suggested natural

Kent State researchers play lead role in significant new physics discovery
Ten Kent State University researchers are part of a team of international scientists who have discovered the most massive antinucleus discovered to date.

Elsevier announces Current Opinion Conference on Cellular Host-Pathogen Interactions
Current Opinion in Cell Biology will host a Cellular Host-Pathogen Interactions Conference, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Sept.

Brain scans could be marketing tool of the future
Using advanced tools to see the human brain at work, a new generation of marketing experts may be able to test a product's appeal while it is still being designed, according to a new analysis by two researchers at Duke University and Emory University.

Treatment of portal hypertensive pulmonary lesions induced by schistosomiasis
Calculus Bovis compound preparation can effectively prevent pulmonary complications of portal hypertensive rabbits with schistosomiasis.

Dr. Harmit Malik receives Vilcek Prize for creative promise in biomedical science
Harmit Singh Malik, Ph.D., an evolutionary biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has received the 2010 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.

The nanoscience/neuroscience intersection: A dialogue
In a far-reaching dialogue, three researchers -- Nicholas Spitzer, Kwabena Boahen and Hongkun Park -- discuss the synergy between nanoscience and neuroscience, what it means for the future, and how it is driving current research.

New study shows teens who drink 100 percent fruit juice have more nutritious diets overall
New research published in the March/April issue of American Journal of Health Promotion concludes that teens who drink 100 percent fruit juice have more nutritious diets overall compared to nonconsumers.

Biggest, deepest crater exposes hidden, ancient moon
Shortly after the moon formed, an asteroid smacked into its southern hemisphere and gouged out a truly enormous crater, the South Pole-Aitken basin, almost 1,500 miles across and more than five miles deep.

Can corn be taught to fix its own nitrogen?
Nitrogen fertilization is essential for profitable corn production. It also is a major cost of production and can contribute to degradation of the environment.

ONR sponsors tech high school robot competition
Aimed at boosting young people's interest in science and technology careers, the Office of Naval Research is sponsoring a team of local high school students as they participate in a robotics competition March 5-6 in Washington, D.C.

Well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations
Is a happy life filled with trivial chatter or reflective and profound conversations?

Trapping sunlight with silicon nanowires
Berkeley Lab researchers have found a better way to trap light in photovoltaic cells through the use of vertical arrays of silicon nanowires.

New evidence hints at global glaciation 716.5 million years ago
Geologists have found evidence that sea ice extended to the equator 716.5 million years ago, bringing new precision to a

30 years later, what killed the dinosaurs is revisited
Scripps researcher among dozens making the case with new evidence that an asteroid impact caused a mass extinction 65.5 million years ago.

Researchers create atlas of transcription factor combinations
In a significant leap forward in the understanding of how specific types of tissue are determined to develop in mammals, an international team of scientists has succeeded in mapping the entire network of DNA-binding transcription factors and their interactions.

Theory of single stem cell for blood components challenged
Components of the blood or hematopoietic system derive from stem cell subtypes rather than one single stem cell that gives rise to all the different kinds of blood cells equally, said scientists from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

How to evaluate hemodynamics of gastric varices effectively?
A research team from China investigated the afferent and efferent veins of different types of gastric varices (GV) according to their location, with multidetector computed tomography portal venography (MDCTPV).

News briefs from the March issue of Chest
Studies from the March issue of Chest highlight report on the health risks associated with Pregnancy, smoking and asthma; the association between asthma and depression; and the ongoing lung health of World Trade Center responders.

Lava likely made river-like channel on Mars
Flowing lava can carve or build paths very much like the riverbeds and canyons etched by water, and this probably explains at least one of the meandering channels on the surface of Mars.

Genetic cause discovered for rare bleeding disorder
A team led by McMaster University hematologist Dr. Catherine Hayward has discovered the genetic cause of Quebec platelet disorder.

A new indicator of poor prognosis in node-negative colorectal cancer patients
Tumor buds are single cells or clusters of up to five cells at the invasive tumor front of colorectal tumors which are important for patient outcome and hypothesized to have stem-cell like properties.

Phobos flyby success
Mars Express encountered Phobos last night, smoothly skimming past at just 67 km, the closest any manmade object has ever approached Mars' enigmatic moon.

Call forwarding: New NIST procedure could speed cell phone testing
By accurately recreating the jumbled wireless signal environment of a city business district in a special indoor test facility, researchers at NIST have shown how the wireless industry could lop hours off the process of testing the capabilities of new cellular phones.

A new energy source from the common pea
Isolating the minute crystals of the PSI super complex from the pea plant, Prof.

ARSC included in $45 million Defense Department award
The Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has acquired new supercomputing resources under a $45 million award from the US Department of Defense to Seattle-based supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc.

Conference on the study of contemporary spirituality next week at University of Haifa
The 2nd Conference on the Study of Contemporary Spirituality will take place at the University of Haifa on Monday, March 8, 2010.

March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse wins prestigious humanitarian award
March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse received the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 2010 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award.

Therapeutic effect of worm-derived proteins on experimental colitis
Worms are important source of immunomodulatory proteins that could be used in the development of new drugs for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Endoscopy-based early enterostomy closure
A research team from Japan retrospectively studied 15 patients who underwent massive bowel resection with enterostomy for superior mesenteric arterial occlusion (SMAO) to evaluate the efficacy of endoscopic examination of blood flow and edema in the remnant bowel.

Loss of enzyme reduces neural activity in Angelman syndrome
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a debilitating neurological disorder characterized by mental retardation and a high frequency of autism.

Turning up the heat: Finding out how well the Webb telescope's sunshield will perform
Keeping an infrared telescope at very cold operating temperatures isn't an option, it's an absolute necessity.

First micro-insurance plan uses mobile phones and weather stations to shield Kenya's farmers
As East Africa recovers from the worst drought in decades, an innovative program launched today will use a low-cost, mobile phone payment and data system, and automated, solar powered weather stations, to offer thousands of farmers in parts of Western and Central Kenya affordable,

ASH announces 2010 Scholar Award winners
The American Society of Hematology announces the 2010 recipients of its Scholar Awards.

University of Arizona receives contracts worth $6 million to support quest for dark energy
University of Arizona research and development groups were selected to develop and manufacture key technology for the first major undertaking to investigate the mystery of dark energy in the universe.

Results of ecosystem restoration research at Tahoe to be unveiled
More than 200 scientists, agency staff and managers, and stakeholders will meet over two days to present results aimed at measuring the success of ecosystem restoration in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

A novel in vitro model for light-induced wound healing
Today, during the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, lead researcher C.

USGS scientists, research help Haiti reconstruction
USGS scientists are helping Haitians lay the groundwork for reconstruction and long-term earthquake monitoring in the wake of the Jan.

Methane releases from Arctic shelf may be much larger and faster than anticipated
A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov.

Oldest measurement of Earth's magnetic field reveals battle between sun and Earth for our atmosphere
Scientists at the University of Rochester have discovered that the Earth's magnetic field 3.5 billion years ago was only half as strong as it is today, and that this weakness, coupled with a strong wind of energetic particles from the young sun, likely stripped water from the early Earth's atmosphere.

Acupuncture may relieve joint pain caused by some breast cancer treatments
A new study, led by researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, demonstrates that acupuncture may be an effective therapy for joint pain and stiffness in breast cancer patients who are being treated with commonly used hormonal therapies.

Experimental vaccine protects monkeys against chikungunya
Researchers have developed an experimental vaccine for chikungunya virus and successfully tested it in monkeys.

Asteroid killed off the dinosaurs, says international scientific panel
The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction, which wiped out the dinosaurs and more than half of species on Earth, was caused by an asteroid colliding with Earth and not massive volcanic activity, according to a comprehensive review of all the available evidence, published today in the journal Science.
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