Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 11, 2010
'New' human adenovirus may not make for good vaccines, after all
In a new study of four adenovirus vectors, Wistar researchers show that a reportedly rare human adenovirus, AdHu26, is not so rare, after all, and would not be optimal as a vaccine carrier.

UK breast cancer mortality rates have fallen faster than in other European countries
Population-based breast cancer mortality rates in the UK have fallen steeply in the last two decades -- more than in any other major European country, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

U of M researchers use stem cells to treat children with life-threatening, blistering skin disease
University of Minnesota Physician-researchers have demonstrated that a lethal skin disease can be successfully treated with stem cell therapy.

University of Maryland School of Medicine receives $7.9 million grant for 'super' research magnet
The University of Maryland School of Medicine has received a $7.9 million NIH grant to acquire a superconducting 950 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance magnet that will help researchers unravel the mysteries of molecules and develop new agents to treat cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

Ambitious survey spots stellar nurseries
Astronomers scanning the skies as part of ESO's VISTA Magellanic Cloud survey have now obtained a spectacular picture of the Tarantula Nebula in our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Unconventional natural gas on Bornholm
A scientific drilling project to investigate natural gas in shale rock is launched on the Danish island of Bornholm.

Oldest Earth mantle reservoir discovered
Researchers have found a primitive Earth mantle reservoir on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic.

Dark-matter search plunges physicists to new depths
This month physicists are taking their attempt to unmask the secret identity of dark matter into a Canadian mine more than a mile underground.

A*STAR and Institut Merieux/bioMerieux invest S$3m ($2.2m) in tuberculosis research
An investment of S$3 million ($2.2 million) is being pumped into tuberculosis research by A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network, bioindustrial group Institut Merieux and its in vitro diagnostics company bioMerieux.

Tinnitus study looks for cure to 'ringing in the ears'
The NIH has granted a University of Texas at Dallas researcher and a university-affiliated biomedical firm $1.7 million to investigate whether nerve stimulation offers a long-term cure for tinnitus.

Initial trials on new ovarian cancer tests exhibit extremely high accuracy
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have attained very promising results on their initial investigations of a new test for ovarian cancer.

Scientists achieve highest-resolution MRI of a magnet
In a development that holds potential for both data storage and biomedical imaging, Ohio State University researchers have used a new technique to obtain the highest-ever resolution MRI scan of the inside of a magnet.

Inherited brain activity predicts childhood risk for anxiety
A new study focused on anxiety and brain activity pinpoints the brain regions that are relevant to developing childhood anxiety.

Research shows sugary drinks do not cause weight gain
New research from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, shows that sugary drinks, consumed in moderate quantities, do not promote weight gain, carbohydrate craving or adverse mood effects in overweight women when they do not know what they are drinking.

Research links huntingtin to neurogenesis
New research finds that a protein that is often mutated in Huntington's disease (HD) plays an unexpected role in the process of neurogenesis.

Making sense of space dust: Researchers explore solar system's origins
The chemical breakdown of minerals that may be lurking in space dust soon will be available to scientists around the world.

Toward safer plastics that lock in potentially harmful plasticizers
Scientists have published the first report on a new way of preventing potentially harmful plasticizers from migrating from one of the most widely used groups of plastics.

Does cosmetic surgery help body dysmorphic disorder?
A new study finds that while many who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) seek cosmetic procedures, only two percent of procedures actually reduced the severity of BDD.

Putting focus on immediate health effects may improve weight loss success
Most weight loss programs try to motivate individuals with warnings of the long-term health consequences of obesity: increased risk for cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and asthma.

College Of Medicine receives $54 million grant for asthma research
The Penn State College of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences has received a grant of about $54 million over seven years to act as the data coordinating center for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's AsthmaNet.

NIH launches effort to define markers of human immune responses
A new nationwide research initiative has been launched to define changes in the human immune system, using human and not animal studies, in response to infection or to vaccination.

University of Maryland partnership receives $7.9M from NIH for superconducting research magnet
The University of Maryland, in partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore and UMBC, has received a $7.9 million federal grant to acquire a superconducting 950 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance magnet that will help researchers unravel the mysteries of molecules and develop new disease treatments.

Dying of cold
Lower outdoor temperatures are linked to an increase in the risk of heart attacks, according to a new study by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Warnings up for Tropical Depression 5 in the eastern Gulf of Mexico
One of the two systems that forecasters have been closely watching in the Atlantic Ocean Basin became the fifth tropical depression at 7:30 p.m.

American Society for Microbiology honors Benjamin tenOever
Benjamin tenOever, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive a 2010 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

K-State professor's cancer research gets boost from National Institutes of Health
Annelise Nguyen, assistant professor of toxicology in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, recently received a $370,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue her cancer research.

People who are angry pay more attention to rewards than threats
Anger is a negative emotion. But, like being happy or excited, feeling angry makes people want to seek rewards, according to a new study of emotion and visual attention.

Seeing melanoma
Two scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are able to image subcutaneous melanoma tumors with startling clarity.

University of Maryland co-sponsors International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life
More than 250 scientists, engineers, government advisers and groups concerned with environmental change are meeting in Cork, Ireland from Aug.

Lithium shows no benefit for people with ALS
A new study has found that the drug lithium is not effective in treating people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Study shows behaviors and attitudes towards oral sex are changing
University of Alberta researcher Brea Malacad says results from a study on oral sex indicate there is little doubt that oral sex is becoming a more common activity for young women.

1 in 4 stroke patients stop taking prevention medication within 3 months
At least a quarter of patients who have suffered a stroke stop taking one or more of their prescribed stroke prevention medications within the first three months after being hospitalized -- when the chance of having another stroke is highest -- according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues.

Bernd Sturmfels of UC-Berkeley was awarded the John von Neumann Lecture at SIAM Annual Meeting
Professor Bernd Sturmfels from the University of California, Berkeley, gave the John von Neumann Lecture at the 2010 SIAM Annual Meeting held July 12-16, in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Building muscle doesn't require lifting heavy weights: study
A new study shows that building muscle depends on achieving muscle fatigue not on pumping heavy weights as previously believed.

UH supercomputing expert goes green
As with many

Texas petrochemical emissions down, but still underestimated, says study
A thick blanket of yellow haze hovering over Houston as a result of chemical pollution from petroleum products may be getting a little bit thinner, according to a new study.

Elsevier launches Malaria Nexus, global malaria resource
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of Malaria Nexus, Elsevier's Global Malaria Resource.

Use of specialist retrieval teams to transport sick children to pediatric intensive care units is associated with reduced mortality
A study published online first in the Lancet shows that use of specialist retrieval teams, rather than nonspecialist teams, to transfer sick children to a hospital with a specialized pediatric intensive care unit is associated with reduced mortality.

Simple injection could save the lives of thousands of accident victims worldwide
If recently injured patients with serious bleeding were to receive a cheap, widely available and easily administered drug to help their blood to clot, tens of thousands of lives could be saved every year, according to a paper published online today by the Lancet.

Access to hip and knee replacement across England is unfairly skewed
Peoples' access across England to total joint replacement of the hip or knee is uneven and affected unfairly by age, sex, deprivation, geography and ethnicity, according to a new study published on bmj.com today.

Best way to pour champagne? 'Down the side' wins first scientific test
In a study that may settle a long-standing disagreement over the best way to pour a glass of champagne, scientists in France are reporting that pouring bubbly in an angled, down-the-side way is best for preserving its taste and fizz.

Scientists receive nearly $11 million to develop radiation countermeasures
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have received a five-year, $10.8 million grant to develop stem cell-based therapies that could be used to mitigate radiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome.

New drug reduces tumor size in women with advanced hereditary ovarian or breast cancer
Understanding the underlying genetic weakness of certain types of cancer may lead to targeted therapy and provide the key to effective treatment, a new study suggests.

Arctic rocks offer new glimpse of primitive Earth
Scientists have discovered a new window into the Earth's violent past.

Deathstalker scorpion venom could improve gene therapy for brain cancer
An ingredient in the venom of the

Animal bone markings show evidence that 'Lucy' species used stone tools, ate meat
Two Arizona State University researchers are members of an international team who conclude that human ancestors began using stone tools and eating meat some 800,000 years earlier that previous estimates.

American Society for Microbiology honors Carol Iversen
Carol Iversen, Ph.D., microbiological and molecular analytics, Nestle Research Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive a 2010 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for her outstanding work elucidating the role of neutralizing antibodies in HIV transmission.

Scientists discover oldest evidence of stone tool use and meat-eating among human ancestors
An international team of scientists led by Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged from the California Academy of Sciences has discovered evidence that human ancestors were using stone tools and consuming meat from large mammals nearly a million years earlier than previously documented.

American Society for Microbiology honors Manuela Raffatellu
Manuela Raffatellu, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive a 2010 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

Novels plus anatomy -- how humanities can improve health care
Doctors and other health care professionals should use the arts and humanities to develop their empathic skills and improve mental health care practice, according to a new book.

American Society for Microbiology honors Binh An Diep
Binh An Diep, Ph.D., assistant adjunct professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive a 2010 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

Fixing technical problems for a good night's sleep as kids start a new school year
Getting a good night's sleep often comes down to technique.

Mans' closest relationship under strain? New research reveals why chimpanzees attack humans
Scientists from Kyoto University, Japan, studying chimpanzees in Guinea have published research revealing why primates attack humans and what prevention measures can be taken.

Spinal muscular atrophy may also affect the heart
Along with skeletal muscles, it may be important to monitor heart function in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Good news: Light and moderate physical activity reduces the risk of early death
A new study by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Cambridge University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found that even light or moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking or cycling, can substantially reduced the risk of early death.

Advance toward earlier detection of melanoma
Scientists are reporting development of a substance to enhance the visibility of skin cancer cells during scans with an advanced medical imaging system that combines ultrasound and light.

Medical researchers at U of Alberta discover potential treatment for pulmonary hypertension
Researchers in the faculty of medicine and dentistry at the University of Alberta are one step closer to a treatment for a deadly disease.

Oil-eating bacteria may determine environmental impact of Gulf oil
The environmental impact of millions of gallons of oil still in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon incident may depend on microscopic helpers: Bacteria that consume oil and other hydrocarbons and could break down the spilled crude, making it disappear.

New diabetes risk assessment developed
A team from the University of Leicester, led by Professor Melanie Davies from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Professor Kamlesh Khunti from the Department of Health Sciences, has developed an easy way for people to assess their risk of having diabetes.

Using bone marrow stem cells to treat critically ill patients on verge of respiratory failure
Researchers are reporting this week new study results they say provide further evidence of the therapeutic potential of stem cells derived from bone marrow for patients suffering from acute lung injury, one of the most common causes of respiratory failure in intensive care units.

American Society for Microbiology honors Thomas J. Walsh
Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., director of the Transplantation-Oncology Infectious Diseases Program of Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, has been selected as the 2010 laureate of the sanofi-aventis ICAAC Award for his translational research on antifungal pharmacology and therapeutics.

Research aims to improve speech recognition software
Anyone who has used an automated airline reservation system has experienced the promise -- and the frustration -- inherent in today's automatic speech recognition technology.

NASA's Aqua Satellite sees Dianmu enter the Sea of Japan
NASA captured infrared imagery of Dianmu entering the Sea of Japan today, Aug.

Perceived intentions influence brain response
People generally like to see generous people rewarded and selfish people punished.

OU professor honored for excellence in chemistry
A University of Oklahoma professor has been selected as a 2010 American Chemical Society Fellow -- a distinguished group of chemists honored for contributions in chemistry in either academia, government or industry.

Energy storage system deals with sudden draws on the grid
Researchers at the University of Leeds and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found a way to manage short-lived draws on the electricity grid.

New paper offers breakthrough on blinking molecules phenomenon
A new paper by University of Notre Dame physicist Boldizsar Janko and colleagues offers an important new understanding of an enduring mystery in chemical physics.

Rain contributes to cycling patterns of clouds
Like shifting sand dunes, some clouds disappear in one place and reappear in another.

American Society for Microbiology honors Catherine A. Blish
Catherine A. Blish, M.D., Ph.D., acting instructor in medicine, University of Washington, and associate, Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology to receive a 2010 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for her outstanding work elucidating the role of neutralizing antibodies in HIV transmission.

NPL unveils quantitative means of monitoring ultrasonic cleaning systems
The UK's National Physical Laboratory has developed the CaviMeter -- a new instrument for measuring the performance of ultrasonic cleaning systems.

VIB and UGent researchers identify key mechanisms of cell division in plants
Scientists from VIB and Ghent University developed a technology that may contribute to the increase of crop yields in agriculture.

Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure
Primary dysmenorrheal (PDM), or menstrual cramps, is the most common gynecological disorder in women of childbearing age.

Practical screening method from USDA to speed up scab-resistant wheat breeding
Individual kernels of wheat and barley can be quickly evaluated for resistance to a damaging scab disease by using near infrared light technology, according to a US Department of Agriculture study conducted in support of a program to safeguard these valuable grain crops.

Increased worker flexibility not always a good thing, says new Rotman paper
Companies trying to improve efficiency by building more flexibility into their workforce could end up too lean and drive costs up, says a new paper co-published by the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

American Chemical Society, Council for Chemical Research to hold R&D symposium Aug. 22
The American Chemical Society and the Council for Chemical Research will hold a special half-day symposium to address the critical challenge of keeping the United States' chemical enterprise competitive, and the central role research and development will play in this process.

NOAA scientists uncover oscillating patterns in clouds
For all who have ever lain on their backs and gazed at clouds adrift in the blue: A new NOAA study has found that clouds

'Needle-free' intervention as natural vaccine against malaria
A study published in the journal Science Translation Medicine proposes that preventative treatment with affordable and safe antibiotics in people living in areas with intense malaria transmission has the potential to act as a
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