Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 08, 2010
Successful launch for ESA's CryoSat-2 ice satellite
Europe's first mission dedicated to studying the Earth's ice was launched today from Kazakhstan.

Southampton scientists begin Phase II patient trial for new asthma treatment
A clinical study which could lead to a new treatment to relieve virus-triggered asthma attacks is underway.

CNIC and Banco Santander set up research project on early cardiovascular risk factors
The trial, headed by the cardiologist Valentin Fuster, is connected to a US-based Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis assessing people of over 60 years old.

Fragile X protein loss alters brain pathways responsible for learning and memory
Fragile X syndrome is due to the functional loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in the brain.

Study: Better understanding of abnormalities that lead to chronic kidney disease in children
Kidney damage associated with chronic reflux is the fourth leading cause of chronic kidney disease and is the most common cause of severe hypertension in children.

New hominid shares traits with Homo species
A newly documented species, called Australopithecus sediba, was an upright walker that shared many physical traits with the earliest known Homo species -- and its introduction into the fossil record might answer some key questions about what it means to be human.

Scientists call for biodiversity barometer
For the first time scientists have put a figure on how much it would cost to learn about the conservation status of millions of species, some of which have yet to be identified.

Migraine sufferers: More difficulty tuning out visual stimuli?
When people feel the onset of a migraine headache, they may head to a dark, quiet room to rest.

New Ozarks field guide digs deep into the past
Developed in conjunction with the 2010 GSA North-Central/South-Central Section Meeting in Branson, Mo., this new volume from the Geological Society of America includes six field trips that convey discovery and insight into the long-studied geology of the Ozark region.

New-generation VAD operates magnetically, without bearings, other moving parts
After receiving only the fourth US implant of a new-generation, Utah-made ventricular assist device, an Idaho man with heart failure is looking forward to resuming an active life following an operation on March 17 at University of Utah Hospital.

Music therapy fails dyslexics
There is no link between a lack of musical ability and dyslexia.

Capitol Hill event to focus on growth and retention
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that it will co-sponsor the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Joint Societies Capitol Hill Reception at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13.

Kidney regeneration instead of transplants or dialysis?
The final paper of the Lancet series on renal medicine addresses the research into kidney regeneration, and how and if it could be possible in humans, as it is in fish.

Human fossil discovery -- evidence of new Homo species
The University of Melbourne, Australia, has played a key role in dating a new species of human fossil found in South Africa.

Scientific breakthrough at the IRCM to combat the HIV-1
Major breakthrough in understanding how the Vpu protein of HIV-1 interferes with the antiviral activity of Tetherin, a novel effector of innate immunity, and contributes to the spread of HIV-1 in humans.

ACS Webinar focuses on immigration law for scientific professionals
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars, focusing on Professional Growth and Development.

Different strokes for married folks?
The first study of its kind to assess the quality of a marriage and its association with stroke risk, Prof.

Chronic kidney disease -- most with condition in rich countries more likely to die of cardiovascular causes, not kidney failure, while those in poorer settings will probably die from kidney failure
Because availability of renal replacement therapies (dialysis or transplant) is limited in countries of low and middle income, most patients around the world with chronic kidney disease will die from kidney failure without receiving dialysis or transplantation.

Texas A&M anthropologist helps identify new species of Homo-like fossil found in South Africa
Two well-preserved skeletons of a human ancestor never before seen have been discovered in South Africa by a team that includes a Texas A&M University anthropologist.

Exploring the 'Davids and Goliaths' of therapeutic molecules
Two research units under Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the Experimental Therapeutics Centre and Singapore Immunology Network, are collaborating with Italy's Siena Biotech S.p.A. to develop new drugs and targeted antibodies respectively, which will potentially help millions of cancer and bone loss patients across the world.

New meds faster
Before a new medication arrives on the market, it must be tested on animal models and in humans.

Dr. Chang-Hwan Choi honored with prestigious Young Investigator Award
Professor Chang-Hwan Choi of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology was named as a recipient of the 2010 Young Investigator Program award by the Office of Naval Research.

Death, injury benefits a casualty of new war strategy, study says
A hole in public policy is shortchanging US soldiers and civilian workers who become casualties of a new-age war strategy that leans heavily on private contractors, a new University of Illinois study says.

Many kidney diseases causes by single gene defects, thus treatments can be targeted to these defects
The first paper in the Lancet series on renal medicine discusses genetic kidney diseases, and highlights that recently many such diseases have been shown to be single gene defects.

Scientists develop environmentally friendly way to produce propylene oxide using silver nanoclusters
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have identified a new class of silver-based catalysts for the production of the industrially useful chemical propylene oxide that is both environmentally friendly and less expensive.

An explanation for the so-called 'broken-heart syndrome'
A group of cardiologists of the Catholic University in Rome identifies the mechanism underlying the Tako-Tsubo syndrome, characterized by a balloon-shaped heart.

Powerful new method allows scientists to probe gene activation
NYU Langone Medical Center researchers have developed a powerful new method to investigate the discrete steps necessary to turn on individual genes and examine how the process goes wrong in cancer and other diseases.

A view of Earth science from middle America
More than 40 technical scientific sessions will examine the unique karst geology of the Ozarks, early fossil evidence of area inhabitants, issues related to the long history of mining in the mid-continent region, case studies in carbon sequestration, geological impacts on the Civil War, and a variety of other topics.

Graphene films clear major fabrication hurdle
Researchers at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry have successfully used direct chemical vapor deposition to synthesize single-layer graphene films on dielectric substrates.

International team discovers new species of hominid
An international team of scientists has described a new fossil find and a new species of hominid, Australopithecus sediba, thought to be at least 2 million years old in an area of South Africa known as the Cradle of Humankind.

Cancer drug effectiveness substantially advanced
Researchers have shown that a peptide (a chain of amino acids) called iRGD helps co-administered drugs penetrate deeply into tumor tissue.

The first HFSP Nakasone award goes to Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University
The Human Frontier Science Program Organization is pleased to announce that the first HFSP Nakasone Award has been conferred upon Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University for his pioneering work on the development and application of optogenetic techniques for the study of the relationship between neural circuits and behavior.

With support, graphene still a superior thermal conductor
Graphene maintains its superior thermal conductivity even when supported by a substrate, according to new research in the journal Science.

Cold fronts linked to European H5N1 outbreaks
Avian influenza (H5N1) outbreaks in Europe during the winter of 2005-2006 occurred at the edge of cold weather fronts, according to researchers from Princeton University and the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

European collaboration seeks to create 'World Wide Web' for robots
It may sound like the blueprint for a science fiction scenario in which robots take over the world from hapless humans; the actual outcome should simply be better service.

Autism Speaks awards 16 new research grants funding more than $5 million over next 3 years
Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, awarded 16 research grants totaling $5,223,743 over three years, spanning basic research, providing the innovative discoveries that form the building blocks of medical breakthroughs, to translational neuroscience research, further developing these discoveries in animal models, to treatment research, testing the efficacy of new interventions in clinical populations, to dissemination research, exploring methods for promoting the use of validated treatments in the community.

'Nanovaccine' reverses autoimmunity without general immunosuppression
A new study, published online April 8 by Cell Press in the journal Immunity, describes a unique therapeutic

Natural gas potential assessed in Eastern Mediterranean
An estimated 122 trillion cubic feet (mean estimate) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas are in the Levant Basin Province, located in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Case Western Reserve first to prove validated instrument to measure AA-related helping
Maria Pagano, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has established an empirical model to quantify and gauge an alcohol addicts' level of engagement in Alcoholics Anonymous-related helping.

U of T researchers shed light on ancient Assyrian tablets
A cache of cuneiform tablets unearthed by a team led by a University of Toronto archaeologist has been found to contain a largely intact Assyrian treaty from the early 7th century BCE.

New evidence on co-prescribing for heart and stroke patients
New research by the University of East Anglia shows no risk in combining two commonly prescribed treatments for patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Annual chlamydia screening may not protect women from pelvic inflammatory disease
It is unlikely that single screening for chlamydia will prevent women developing pelvic inflammatory disease in the following year, according to research published on bmj.com today.

Venus is alive -- geologically speaking
ESA's Venus Express has returned the clearest indication yet that Venus is still geologically active.

Monitoring system for carrying out sleep study at home for identifying apnea-hypopnea syndrome
The sleep study or test is key for diagnosing apnea-hypopnea syndrome but, given its high cost, few resources are earmarked to it.

Hubble snaps heavyweight of the Leo Triplet
Hubble has snapped a spectacular view of the largest

Family tree research can open a 'Pandora's Box' of secrets that may cause rifts, research says
People researching their ancestors can open a

IU's Carlson among team of scientists announcing new species of prehistoric man
Indiana University anthropologist Kristian J. Carlson today (April 8) joined an international team of six other scientists announcing discovery of the fossil remains of a new species of early man that could help rewrite the path of human evolution.

New internet-based resource to support health information technology adoption
A collaboration developing a new Web site to help medical practitioners compare electronic health records (EHR) systems was announced today by its founding partners, the American College of Physicians and Cientis Technologies.

Boston researchers lead $15 million federal research grant to support advancement of health IT
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School will lead the efforts of a $15 million grant recently announced from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services to support research and development of a new health care information technology infrastructure.

Michael Betenbaugh wins 2010 Cell Culture Engineering award
This prestigious award is to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of Cell Culture Technology and Engineering, and significant service and dedication to the profession.

The Scarlet I: Infertility survivors lend voices to U of I prof's new book
Infertility and isolation are soul sisters, says University of Illinois professor Constance Hoenk Shapiro.

Researchers find compound effective in destroying antibiotic-resistant biofilms
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a chemical compound that, when used in conjunction with conventional antibiotics, is effective in destroying biofilms produced by antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as the Staphylococcus strain MRSA and Acinetobacter.

Study: Social influence playing role in surging autism diagnoses
Columbia University researchers find that children living near a child who has been previously diagnosed with autism have a much higher chance of being diagnosed themselves in the following year.

Extensive Neupro (rotigotine transdermal system) data to be presented at the 62nd American Academy of Neurology Meeting in Toronto, Canada
Extensive new data on rotigotine will be presented at the 62nd American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 10-17, 2010.

According to a study, change in social roles of men and women may increase gender violence
A study conducted by the University of Granada reveals that when sexist men feel their power threatened in their sentimental relationships, they may use violence as a way to restore their lost power.

How dangerous are air pollutants really?
How severely do smog, diesel exhaust and secondhand smoke damage the lungs?

Magnetic attraction of stem cells creates more potent treatment for heart attack
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have found in animals that infusing cardiac-derived stem cells with micro-size particles of iron and then using a magnet to guide those stem cells to the area of the heart damaged in a heart attack boosts the heart's retention of those cells and could increase the therapeutic benefit of stem cell therapy for heart disease.

Vilcek Prize lecture
The Vilcek Prize lecture by Alexander J. Varshavsky, Ph.D., will be held at 4 p.m. on April 8.

New hominid species discovered and described in South Africa
A team led by Professor Lee Berger, a renowned palaeoanthropologist from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (aka Wits University) have described and named a new species of hominid, Australopithecus sediba, almost two million years old, which was discovered in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, 40 kilometers out of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Harm caused by nicotine withdrawal during intensive care
Nicotine withdrawal can cause dangerous agitation in intensive care patients.

$3.7 million trial uses genes to balance risks, benefits of blood thinner
A five-year, $3.7 million clinical trial will investigate how to balance the benefits and risks of warfarin, a drug that helps prevent potentially deadly blood clots.

New model tracks the immune response to a T
Whitehead researchers have created novel mouse models of the immune system starting with T cells primed for the infectious disease toxoplasmosis by generating cloned mice from these T cells.

Ozone levels tend to be above recommended levels at this time of year in South West Spain
Surface ozone levels in the south west of the Iberian Peninsula usually exceed the protection threshold established by EU regulations for people and plants in spring and summer, according to data gathered between 2000 and 2005 by four measuring stations in Huelva, one of them next to the DoƱana National Park.

New method to study key targets in Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer
When designing a drug against a disease, chemists often used detailed plans of the proteins affected and against which the drugs must act.

Privacy risks from geographic information
In today's world more geographic information is being collected about us, such as where we live, where the clinic we visited is located, and where we work.

Sleep apnea tied to increased risk of stroke
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of stroke in middle-aged and older adults, especially men, according to new results from a landmark study supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Tissue-engineered grafts composed of adult stem cells could one day replace synthetic vascular bypass grafts
Using adult stem cells, researchers have created functional blood vessels that could one day replace synthetic grafts often required in various vascular bypass surgeries, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference 2010.

Bomb scares: An ODD solution
Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate may have a better solution to detecting just what's in that suspicious package.

Simple test can detect signs of suicidal thoughts in people taking antidepressants
UCLA researchers have developed a non-invasive biomarker, or indicator, using a non-invasive measurement of electrical activity in the brain, to associate a sharp reduction of activity in a specific brain region within 48 hours of beginning pharmaceutical treatment in people who proved susceptible to developing thoughts of suicide.

New study of autism reveals a 'DNA tag' (methylation) amenable to treatment
A new discovery raises hope that autism may be more easily diagnosed and that its effects may be more reversible than previously thought.

LA BioMed to receive $9.7 million stimulus grant for new research center
LA BioMed is awarded a $9.7 million grant to build a new Chronic Disease Clinical Research Center to enhance studies of HIV/AIDS, cardiac disease and respiratory ailments, including COPD.

Researchers use novel nanoparticle vaccine to cure type 1 diabetes in mice
Using a sophisticated nanotechnology-based

New high-speed integrated circuit for world's biggest physics experiment is fastest of its kind
A new high-speed integrated circuit to reliably transmit data in the demanding environment of the world's largest physics experiment is the fastest of its kind.

FSU marine ecologist wins grant to study endangered sawfish
A scientist at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory has won a three-year, $674,989 grant to study the endangered but little-known sawfish, whose numbers are believed to have declined globally more than 90 percent.

Court privacy rulings a threat to the media, expert says
A new study says long-held boundaries for news coverage have narrowed in a recent spate of privacy rulings, which could ultimately have a chilling effect on mainstream journalists whose watchdog role helps safeguard against corruption and other misconduct.

Utah-made ventricular assist device gives Idaho man chance to resume an active life
After receiving only the fourth US implant of a new-generation, Utah-made ventricular assist device, an Idaho man with heart failure is looking forward to resuming an active life following an operation on March 17 at University of Utah Hospital.

McMaster researchers discover a new way HIV infects women
Scientists have been puzzled as to how HIV finds its way into the female reproductive tract.

Modeling reef ecosystems focus of workshop
Coral reef ecosystems are highly valued for their diverse fish and invertebrate communities that support multibillion dollar reef fishing and tourism industries, but they are also threatened by regional human population growth and over-exploitation.

Variations on the genetic theme
Integrating data from an unprecedented variety of human tissue samples, scientists at EMBL-EBI and their collaborators have produced the first-ever global map of gene expression, published today in Nature Biotechnology.

Researchers identify secrets to happiness, depression among oldest of old
Researchers from Iowa State University's gerontology program have helped identify what predicts happiness and long life in centenarians, as well as what causes depression in 80-somethings and above.

New treatment for social problems in autism? Oxytocin improves emotion recognition
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are developmental disorders usually diagnosed in childhood.

Accelerated radiotherapy regimen shows potential for treating head and neck cancer in resource-limited countries
Shortening radiotherapy treatment time is a feasible and more effective alternative to standard radiotherapy for head and neck cancers in resourced-limited countries in the developing world, where 75 percent of these cancers occur.

Children of combat-deployed parents show increased worries, even after parent returns
UCLA researchers found that it is the number and lengths of repeated military deployments that cause higher levels of anxiety in children -- and that the anxiety persists even after the deployed parent returns home.
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