Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 27, 2010
Manchester team wins $1.9 million grant for 'cell control' study
A team investigating how genes respond to hormonal changes and inflammation has been awarded a Wellcome Trust grant of $1.9 million for a five-year study.

International malaria research consortium tackles deadly disease
Research teams from three academic institutions and two private sector companies on two continents have come together to form the International malaria research consortium for the development of novel classes of antimalarials.

NOAA adds wave and visibility capability to its ports navigational data system
NOAA announced today two significant additions, waves and visibility, to its suite of observations available through the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) program.

Learning the truth not effective in battling rumors about NYC mosque, study finds
Evidence is no match against the belief in false rumors concerning the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, a new study finds.

ESHRE publishes English textbook for paramedics
A Dutch textbook, in layout and depth of knowledge suitable for paramedics and for use in higher professional education, was the basis for this European textbook.

USDA awards Virginia Tech $3.8 million to stimulate eastern US wine industry
A five-year project seeks to create, refine and encourage industry adoption of grape and wine production practices that integrate research-based recommendations with key market drivers to achieve a robust and sustainable grape and wine industry in the eastern US.

'Smart drug' targets new mutation, dramatically shrinks aggressive sarcoma and lung cancer
A new oral drug caused dramatic shrinkage of a patient's rare, aggressive form of soft-tissue cancer that was driven by an abnormally activated protein, physician-scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report in the Oct.

Portable breast scanner allows cancer detection in the blink of an eye
Women could have a fast test for breast cancer and instantly identify the presence of a tumor in the comfort of their own home thanks to groundbreaking new research from the University of Manchester.

New methods detect subtleties in human genomes' repetitive landscapes
Scientists have invented techniques to scout human genome regions where DNA sequences are highly identical and heavily duplicated.

EMBO recognizes 63 researchers for advances in life sciences
The European Molecular Biology Organization today announced the recognition of outstanding research contributions by 63 life scientists from 14 countries.

Deadly monkeypox virus might cause disease by breaking down lung tissue
A new study of an exotic, infectious virus that has caused three recent outbreaks in the United States reveals clues to how the virus might damage lungs during infection.

Stanford study shows getting older leads to emotional stability, happiness
The study was an effort to answer questions asked by social scientists: Are American seniors who say they're happy simply part of an era that predisposed them to good cheer?

NOAA: Tagged narwhals track warming near Greenland
In a research paper published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans, scientists reported the southern Baffin Bay off West Greenland has continued warming since wintertime ocean temperatures were last effectively measured there in the early 2000s.

Tumor suppressor acts as oncogene in some cancers, say Mayo Clinic researchers
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida have found that a molecule long believed to be a beneficial tumor suppressor -- and thus a potential cancer drug target -- appears to act as an oncogene in some lethal brain tumors.

Forces for cancer spread: Genomic instability and evolutionary selection
New research into pancreatic cancer shows that, not only is cancer genetically different between different patients, but each new focus of cancer spread within a patient has its own distinct mutations.

Controlling individual cortical nerve cells by human thought
Five years ago, Caltech neuroscientist Christof Koch, UCLA neurosurgeon Itzhak Fried, and their colleagues discovered that a single neuron can function much like a sophisticated computer and recognize people, landmarks, and objects.

Magnetic test reveals hyperactive brain network responsible for involuntary flashbacks
US scientists have found a correlation between increased circuit activity in the right side of the brain and the suffering of involuntary flashbacks by post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers.

Canada needs to improve end-of-life care
Better psychological and spiritual support, improved planning of care and stronger relationships with physicians are necessary to improve end-of-life care in Canada, according to a study by a Queen's University professor.

60 Utahns are among landmark large-scale genome sequencing study
Just seven months after University of Utah geneticists took part in a landmark study that sequenced for the first time the genome of an entire Utah family, U of U researchers have taken part in another historic study that is the first large-scale genome sequencing project -- 179 people representing three continents -- and 60 Utahns played a major role in this study, too.

Scientists issue call to action for archaeological sites threatened by rising seas
Should global warming cause sea levels to rise as predicted in coming decades, thousands of archaeological sites in coastal areas around the world will be lost to erosion.

Introducing the 'A-Train'
Mention the

Jefferson urologist awarded Lifetime Achievement Award from Endourological Society
Demetrius H. Bagley, M.D., the Nathan Lewis Hatfield Professor of Urology in the Department of Urology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University was recently honored as the 2010 recipient of the Karl Storz Lifetime Achievement Award in Endourology at the World Congress of Endourology.

Revising the timeline for deadly pancreatic cancer
A new study that peers deeply into the genetics of pancreatic cancer presents a bit of good news: an opportunity for early diagnosis.

NIST ships first programmable AC/DC 10-volt standard
Extending its 26-year tradition of innovative quantum voltage standards, NIST researchers have begun shipping a new, quantum-based, 10-volt standard to users around the world.

New evidence supports 'Snowball Earth' as trigger for early animal evolution
A team of scientists, led by biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside, has found new evidence linking

Singapore scientist leads team to discover origin of brain immune cells
A team of international scientists led by Dr Florent Ginhoux of the Singapore Immunology Network of Singapore's Agency of Science, Technology and Research, have made a breakthrough that could lead to a better understanding of many neurodegenerative and inflammatory brain disorders.

From touchpad to thought-pad?
Move over, touchpad screens: New research funded in part by the National Institutes of Health shows that it is possible to manipulate complex visual images on a computer screen using only the mind.

'Science never seen before' is focus of first scientific conference on gigapixel imaging
Two hundred scientists, educators and students will come together at the Fine Conference on Gigapixel Imaging for Science Nov.

Surprise finding: Pancreatic cancers progress to lethal stage slowly
Pancreatic cancer develops and spreads much more slowly than scientists have thought, according to new research from Johns Hopkins investigators.

Probing the mysterious second-wave of damage in head injury patients
Why do some of the one million people who sustain head injuries annually in United States experience a mysterious second wave of brain damage days after the initial injury -- just when they appear to be recovering?

Swan song of space shuttle Discovery to carry 2 payloads built by CU-Boulder
NASA's space shuttle Discovery will make its swan song flight Nov.

Variable southeast summer rainfall linked to climate change
A doubling of abnormally wet or dry summer weather in the southeastern United States in recent decades has come from an intensification of the summertime North Atlantic subtropical high (NASH), or

Sodas, other sugary beverages linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome
A new study has found that regular consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a clear and consistently greater risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Manchester geneticist leads $7.5 million immune disorders research program
A specialist in genetic medicine at the National Institute for Health Research's Manchester Biomedical Research Center is leading a multi-national team investigating the genetics of immune system disorders.

Heavy drinkers consume less over time, but not at 'normal' levels
Problem drinkers in the general population may reduce the amount of alcohol they consume over a period of years but not to the level of the average adult, according to a new study in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Cone of poison: The secret behind the cone snail's venom pump
Scientists have discovered the secret of how an amazing sea snail injects its venom after shooting a harpoon-like tooth into its prey -- or some unlucky swimmer -- at jetliner speeds.

Small particles show big promise in beating unpleasant odors
Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for dealing with offensive household and other odors -- one that doesn't simply mask odors like today's room fresheners, but eliminates them at the source.

'Sí' on the new SI: NIST backs proposal for a revamped system of measurement units
Taking the first steps of what would be a major historical advance in the science of measurement, NIST is participating in a worldwide effort to recommend major revisions to the International System of Units (SI), the modern metric system that is the basis of global measurements in commerce, science and other aspects of everyday life.

Into Africa? Fossils suggest earliest anthropoids colonized Africa
A new discovery suggests that anthropoids -- the primate group including humans, apes and monkeys --

Too much SP2 protein turns stem cells into 'evil twin' cancer cells
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that the overproduction of a key protein in stem cells causes those stem cells to form cancerous tumors.

Large-scale fish farm production offsets environmental gains
Industrial-scale aquaculture production magnifies environmental degradation, according to the first global assessment of the effects of marine finfish aquaculture (e.g., salmon, cod, turbot and grouper) released today.

Texas A&M University becomes key player in global study to save Earth's endangered species
Texas A&M University is one of 10 international partners involved in the global conservation study and subsequent scientific paper,

Friends with cognitive benefits
Talking with other people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems, a new University of Michigan study shows.

Glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells
High doses or prolonged use of glucosamine causes the death of pancreatic cells and could increase the risk of developing diabetes, according to a team of researchers at Universite Laval's Faculty of Pharmacy.

A speed gun for the Earth's insides
Researchers at the University of Bristol reveal today in the journal Nature that they have developed a seismological

Knowledge of genetic cancer risks often dies with patients, finds VCU Massey Cancer Center
If you were dying from cancer, would you consider genetic testing?

Narcotics and diagnostics overused in treatment of chronic neck pain
Duke University and University of North Carolina researchers report in the November issue of Arthritis Care & Research that narcotics and diagnostic testing are overused in treating chronic neck pain.

Tobacco and its evil cousin, nicotine? They're good -- as a pesticide!
Tobacco, used on a small scale as a natural organic pesticide for hundreds of years, is getting new scientific attention as a potential mass-produced alternative to traditional commercial pesticides.

Certain cancer therapies' success depends on presence of immune cell, Stanford study shows in mice
The immune system may play a critical role in ensuring the success of certain types of cancer therapies, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen coordinates the initiative towards gene function elucidation
The world's largest research initiative to mutate all mouse genes is now able to reach the summit because the ambitious EUCOMMTOOLS project started on Oct.

Astronomers discover most massive neutron star yet known
Precise measurement of a neutron star's mass yields a surprisingly large figure that rules out several models for the star's composition and also strongly affects other fields of physics.

Structural genomics accelerates protein structure determination
Membrane proteins are of immense biological and pharmaceutical importance. But so far there are only a handful of cases in which the exact structure could be successfully determined.

Not so fast -- sex differences in the brain are overblown
People love to speculate about differences between the sexes, and many brain imaging studies have reported sex differences in brain structure or activity.

New targeted lung cancer drug produces 'dramatic' symptom improvement
A clinical trial of a new targeted drug has provided powerful evidence that it can halt or reverse the growth of lung tumors characterized by a specific genetic abnormality.

European R&D leaders assembled in Tel Aviv will invest $70 million in joint R&D initiatives
56 project proposals have been approved by EUREKA's High Level Group Representatives and National Project Coordinators from 40 countries.

2 THEMIS probes redirected to moon to study magnetosphere, solar wind interactions
Two of the five probes from NASA's THEMIS mission have been redirected toward new orbits around the moon, extending UC Berkeley's study of the earth and moon's interactions with the solar wind.

November-December 2010 GSA Bulletin highlights
Topics in the November-December 2010 GSA Bulletin include earthquake hazard assessment, tectonics, fault ruptures, paleo-earthquakes, magmatism, landslides, climate modeling and geochronology.

$1,820,000 from NSF awarded to Rutgers-Newark to acquire fMRI dedicated to research
The National Science Foundation has awarded Rutgers University in Newark a $1,820,000 grant to acquire the Siemens Trio 3T MRI scanner.

Addiction index updated
The new version of the Addiction Severity Index gives health professionals the opportunity to design an integral and personalized plan of assistance for patients suffering disorders due to substance abuse.

Educational researchers target earth and space sciences
Climate change, energy, natural resources and the health of planet Earth are major modern day concerns; but Americans' grasp of Earth and space sciences is, according to scientists and educators at Penn State, not strong.

The quest of tracking human mutation in the 1000 genomes project: Human mutation repertoire revealed
Mutations in DNA are a normal part of life. Sometimes these variations give rise to unique and beneficial traits including the creation of a new species, other times they cause devastating diseases.

Spiral galaxies stripped bare
Six spectacular spiral galaxies are seen in a clear new light in images from ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Abstracts for the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium in Berlin go up online on Friday, Oct. 29
The majority of the abstracts to be presented at the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on

New software eases analysis of insect in motion
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University use two high-speed cameras and a computer program they developed to quickly and accurately analyze the simultaneous movement of all 26 leg joints in a walking cockroach.

Neuroimaging leader to receive the 2010 Taylor Prize in Medicine
Dr. Charles DeCarli's research has led to new brain imaging techniques and a new way of looking at Alzheimer's disease, and now it's earned him the 2010 J.

Low elevations hold climate surprises
Contrary to expectations, climate change has had a significant effect on mountain plants at low elevations, says a new study led by a UC Davis researcher.

Mind over matter: Study shows we consciously exert control over individual neurons
A collaboration between UCLA scientists and colleagues from the California Institute of Technology has shown that humans can actually regulate the activity of specific neurons in the brain, increasing the firing rate of some while decreasing the rate of others.

1000 Genomes Project publishes analysis of completed pilot phase
Today in the journal Nature, the 1000 Genomes Project, an international public-private consortium, published the most comprehensive map of human genetic differences, called variations, estimated to contain approximately 95 percent of the genetic variation of any person on Earth.

Concerns about the safety of certain 'healthful' plant-based antioxidants
Scientists are calling for more research on the possibility that some supposedly healthful plant-based antioxidants -- including those renowned for their apparent ability to prevent cancer -- may actually aggravate or even cause cancer in some individuals.

Researchers find a 'liberal gene'
Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic make-up, according to new research from the UC San Diego and Harvard University.

Schools an ideological battleground in Sudanese strife, scholar says
Education is often heralded as an engine for peace and prosperity, but in the fifty-year civil war that has gripped Sudan, schools have played an important role in deepening the country's divisions, according to an article in the November issue of Comparative Education Review.

Winners announced in 2010 Collegiate Inventors Competition
Recognizing the innovative ideas of today's college and university students, the Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of Invent Now, today announced that a way to implant human liver cells in mice to facilitate drug testing and a way to manufacture composite structural poles have won top honors in this year's competition.

Even the sickest babies benefit from breast-feeding
Pediatric researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia describe a successful program in which nurses helped mothers attain high rates of breast-feeding in very sick babies -- newborns with complex birth defects requiring surgery and intensive care.

Research rejects green tea for breast cancer prevention
Green tea does not protect against breast cancer. A study of data from approximately 54,000 women, published in BioMed Central's open-access journal Breast Cancer Research, found no association between drinking green tea and breast cancer risk.

Doctors' sense of mission, self-identity key in choice to work in underserved areas
Medical schools and clinics could boost the number of primary care physicians in medically underserved areas by selecting and encouraging students from these communities, who often exhibit a strong sense of responsibility for and identification with the people there.

Prospective voters and the new health care law
A comprehensive review of national opinion polls, including newly released data, shows that those who say they intend to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate in 2010 and those who say they intend to vote for a Republican in their district hold starkly different views of what they want the future of health reform legislation to be.

Major award to NOC marine geoscientist
Marine geoscientist Dr. Veerle Huvenne of the United Kingdom's National Oceanography Centre has been awarded a major research grant worth around $1.9 million over five years to map complex habitats in the deep ocean and study the biodiversity they support. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to