Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 19, 2010
Trained bacteria convert bio-wastes into plastic
Researcher Jean-Paul Meijnen has

SCEC's 'M8' earthquake simulation breaks computational records, promises better quake models
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Southern California Earthquake Center recently presented the world's most advanced earthquake shaking simulation.

Businessman-philanthropist assists TGen-VARI study of rare cancer
International businessman and philanthropist Foster Friess has donated $50,000 to help launch a study of small cell carcinoma of the ovary by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Van Andel Research Institute.

The incredible impact of stars on culture
For Hawaiian navigators, the star Sirius was

Britain at the polls 2010 -- a remarkable and landmark election
Britain at the polls 2010, published today by SAGE, tells the story of the extraordinary events leading up to and encompassing the general election of 2010.

Harvard expert on inflammation's role in obesity receives Columbia's 2010 Naomi Berrie Award
Columbia University Medical Center presents the 2010 Naomi Berrie Award to a Harvard researcher who has made important advances in understanding the molecular basis for links between obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Reading the signs: Plants and animals found common ground in response to microbial threats
Contrary to long-held beliefs, plants and animals have developed remarkably similar mechanisms for detecting microbial invasions.

Special section on ecological distribution conflicts in the journal Ecological Economics
Researchers from Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and other universities have published a special section in the journal Ecological Economics that analyzes the link between ecological economics and political ecology.

New path for colon cancer drug discovery
An old pinworm medicine is a new lead in the search for compounds that block the Wnt signaling pathway, which has been implicated in colon cancer.

New oyster farming technique increases productivity, offers entrepreneurial opportunities
A new oyster farming initiative has launched in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Race impacts declining kidney function
African-Americans -- along with some groups of Hispanics -- have faster rates of decline in kidney function compared to white Americans, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition.

COPD could be a problem with autoimmunity
Moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be an auto-immunity problem, according to researchers in Spain, who studied the presence of auto-antibodies in patients with COPD and compared them to levels of control subjects.

I-SPY 2 study speeds up treatment for breast cancer
A clinical trial that aims to speed up the study of new treatments for certain subtypes of breast cancer now has a designated study site at the Diane O'Connor Thompson Breast Center at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Earlier specialist care associated with lower incidence of ESRD and better patient outcomes
Among kidney disease patients, earlier care from a nephrologist is associated with a decreased likelihood of developing end-stage renal disease and a lower risk of death during the first year of dialysis, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition.

Spain is leading the fight against rare anemias in Europe
Health care professionals and patients get together for the first time in Spain against rare anemias.

New microscope reveals ultrastructure of cells
Researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have developed a new X-ray nanotomography microscope.

Busy microbial world discovered in deepest ocean crust ever explored
The first study to ever explore biological activity in the deepest layer of ocean crust has found bacteria with a remarkable range of capabilities, including eating hydrocarbons and natural gas, and

I2R Known-item-Search technology takes top honors at US standards annual TRECVID conference
A team from A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research managed to obtain the top scores in video search beating 49 participating global teams and emerging best among the final 15 teams.

New study into bladder regeneration heralds organ replacement treatment
The research, published in Stem Cells, is especially relevant for pediatric patients suffering from abnormally developed bladders, but also represents another step towards new organ replacement therapies.

LA BioMed research finds kids with larger waist sizes are more likely to have cardiac risk factors
In a study of more than 4,500 children, researchers found those with higher waist circumferences had significantly higher pulse pressures, which is known to increase the risk of heart-related disorders.

Report: For every 1 homeless person in Canada, another 23 live in inadequate housing
For every one person in Canada who is homeless, another 23 live in unsafe, crowded or unaffordable housing, meaning the country's housing crisis is even worse than previously thought, according to Dr.

Council of Science and Humanities recommends building of Polarstern II
The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research welcomes the recommendation of the Council of Science and Humanities to build a new research icebreaker, Polarstern II.

E. coli infection linked to long-term health problems
People who contract gastroenteritis from drinking water contaminated with E.

Elderly can blame fractures and falls on low sodium
Older adults with even mildly decreased levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia) experience increased rates of fractures and falls, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition.

Professor Zvi Ram presents phase III recurrent glioblastoma survival and quality of life data from the first pivotal study of the NovoTTF-100A at 15th Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology Scientific Meeting
Data presented today from a pivotal, phase III randomized clinical trial for patients with recurrent glioblastoma tumors suggest that tumor treating fields therapy may increase median survival time and improve quality of life scores compared to best standard of care chemotherapy.

Kidney disease patient health: Moderate alcohol and calcium help, obesity harms
This release highlights the following three topics about diet and health:

AgriLife scientist: Functional amino acids regulate key metabolic pathways
Functional amino acids play a critical role in the development of both animals and humans, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

UH physicists study behavior of enzyme linked to Alzheimer's, cancer
University of Houston physicists are using complex computer simulations to illuminate the workings of a crucial protein that, when malfunctioning, may cause Alzheimer's and cancer.

New tests and interventions may help prevent future health problems
This release highlights the following three topics in the area of kidney health:

Stanford students fly in zero gravity to protect satellites from tiny meteoroids
Stanford researchers have completed the first successful tests in zero gravity of a canopy for CubeSats -- the tiny satellites that hitch rides on rockets sending larger satellites into orbit.

Industry honors plastics recycling and reactive polymer processing expert at NJIT
NJIT's Marino Xanthos received the 2010 Heinz List Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers for outstanding achievements in polymerization reactions and polymer devolatilization technologies.

Online map of maternal health to inform world leaders
Researchers from the University of Southampton have helped construct an online interactive world map which gives stark facts and figures about the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and following the birth of their child.

New dinosaur hall to create landmark experience in Los Angeles
This summer, the much-anticipated new Dinosaur Hall opens to the public at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Scripps Research scientists identify first synthetic activator of 2 critical proteins
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a novel synthetic activator of a pair of proteins that belong to a protein family playing key roles in human metabolism and immune function.

Invention helps students learn surgical techniques before operating on patients
In the last 50 years, modern medicine has made astounding advances in surgery, yet many of today's veterinary and human medicine students still hone basic surgical and suturing skills on carpet pads and pig's feet before transitioning to a live patient.

Eating a variety of fruit cuts lung cancer risk
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day is one of the means that experts most frequently recommend for preventing cancer.

New research from Psychological Science
This release contains a sampling of the exciting research just published in Psychological Science, including

Gene links to anorexia found by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia researchers
Scientists at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have identified both common and rare gene variants associated with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.

Reports claiming ALS caused by head trauma lacks scientific validation
A recent study suggesting that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be attributed to

Designing more effective anti-HIV antibodies
Although people infected with HIV produce many antibodies against the protein encapsulating the virus, most of these antibodies are strangely ineffective at fighting the disease.

Childhood obesity linked to increased risk of adult cardiovascular and metabolic disorders
Mounting evidence linking childhood obesity to an increasing risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in adulthood is clearly presented in a comprehensive review article in the current issue of Childhood Obesity, published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
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