Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 20, 2011
High iron, copper levels block brain-cell DNA repair
Excessive levels of copper and iron in the brain and DNA damage by reactive oxygen species are associated with most cases of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Spiders suffer from human impact
Researchers from the King Juan Carlos University have carried out a research study published in Biological Conservation, which looked at whether spiders were more tolerant of human impact than other animals.

Radio telescopes capture best-ever snapshot of black hole jets
An international team, including NASA-funded researchers, using radio telescopes located throughout the Southern Hemisphere has produced the most detailed image of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy.

Renowned medical ethicist Dr. Joe Fins receives named professorship
Dr. Joseph J. Fins, an internationally renowned medical ethicist and pioneer in the field of neuroethics and disorders of consciousness, was named the first recipient of a newly established professorship -- The E.

NASA sees Tropical Storm 04W's thunderstorms grow quickly
Tropical Storm 04W formed from the low pressure System 98W this morning in the northwestern Pacific.

AFAR announces the 2011 Hartford Scholars in Geriatric Medicine
The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) today announced $2.5 million in career development awards to 83 advanced fellows and junior faculty at 27 Centers of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and Training across the country.

Buying 'legal highs' from the Internet is a risky business
Many drugs sold as

Genetic study clarifies evolutionary origin of elusive montane red fox
North American red foxes originated from two separate genetic lineages that were isolated from each other by glaciers some half a million years ago, according to a US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station study.

Ants give new evidence for interaction networks
Social networks may function differently than previously thought, University of Arizona researchers have discovered by taking clues from ant colonies.

Top Australian malaria researcher elected Fellow of the Royal Society
Internationally recognized malaria researcher professor Alan Cowman from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK's peak academy promoting excellence in science.

New tool to measure outcomes could help improve arm surgery for devastating nerve injury
The way that clinicians report outcomes of surgery for a traumatic nerve injury involving the arm is not standardized, and it is thus difficult to compare the efficacy of different surgical treatments, according to a study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Salk professor, Joanne Chory, elected to Royal Society
Salk leaders, Chory and non-resident fellow Carla J. Shatz, elected to join prestigious group of the world's most eminent scientists; Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Crick, Watson, Hawking and many others

Gene-modified stem cells help protect bone marrow from toxic side effects of chemotherapy
Although chemotherapy is used to kill cancer cells, it can also have a strong toxic effect on normal cells such as bone marrow and blood cells.

Leopoldina makes recommendations to the G8 heads of state and government
Together with the national science academies of the other G8 states, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has prepared two statements for the G8 states in the run-up to the G8 Summit of Heads of State and Government.

Small insects attacks and kill amphibians much bigger than themselves
New findings of researchers from Tel-Aviv University show that predator-prey interactions between ground beetles of the genus Epomis and amphibians are much more complex than expected.

'The Potential to Modify the Course of Parkinson's Disease'
During a three-day forum,

Childhood cancer survivors at higher risk for future GI complications
Individuals who are treated for cancer during childhood have a significantly higher risk of developing gastrointestinal complications -- from mild to severe -- later in life, according to a study led by the University of California, San Francisco.

Iowa State engineer scales up process that could improve economics of ethanol production
Iowa State's Hans van Leeuwen and a team of researchers have built a pilot plant to test a process designed to improve ethanol production.

Enlarged prostate: Study demonstrates immediate and long-term benefits of laser treatment
New research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Urology Association in Washington, D.C., demonstrates that holmium laser therapy is a safe and durable treatment option for benign prostatic hyperplasia -- an enlargement of the prostate that affects most men as they age.

2-year results: Artificial disc a viable alternative to fusion for 2-level disc disease
When two adjacent discs in the low back wear out, become compressed and cause unmanageable pain, numbness or other symptoms, replacement with artificial discs can be a viable alternative to standard fusion surgery, based on two-year post-surgery data from a randomized, multicenter trial recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Diet high in vegetables and fruit associated with less weight gain in African-American women
Investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University have reported that African-American women who consumed a diet high in vegetables and fruit gained less weight over a 14-year period than those who consumed a diet high in red meat and fried foods.

HealthCore presents ISPOR poster sessions
Leading researchers from outcomes research company HealthCore Inc., are presenting a dozen poster sessions on real-world evidence May 21-25 at the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 16th Annual International Meeting.

The structure-based design of zinc finger nucleases can facilitate genomic editing
A recent study published in the May 2011 issue of Science China: Life Sciences described a novel method using FoldX force field based protein modeling that can be applied in zinc finger nucleases design.

First analysis of invasive plant impacts worldwide
There is concern regarding the ecological and economic impacts caused by biological invasions, but we still have little understanding of these phenomena.

DFG establishes 18 new research training groups
With the aim of further strengthening early-career research in Germany, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is to establish 18 new research training groups.

5 UH graduates receive NSF fellowships for further study
The University of Houston launched the graduate careers of five National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows for 2011.

Species reemergence after collapse: Possible but different
Species pairs that disappear through hybridization after human-induced changes to the environment can reemerge if the disturbance is removed, according to a new mathematical model that shows the conditions under which reemergence might happen.

Southampton scientists to help create a sustainable energy system for the UK
The University of Southampton is playing a key role in a major public/private partnership to evaluate the use of biomass to create a cost effective and sustainable UK energy system for 2050.

Wildlife in trouble from oil palm plantations, according to scientists
Palm oil plantations are having a catastrophic effect on the sustainability of a variety of plant and animal species, scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have discovered.

TGen/VARI president Dr. Jeffrey Trent appointed Foreign Trade Counselor by Luxembourg
Dr. Jeffrey M. Trent, F.A.C.M.G., a nationally recognized leader in the science of genetics related to cancer, has been appointed Foreign Trade Counselor of Luxembourg in the United States.

Performance of an arch dam affected by the relaxation of its foundation following excavation
Research has shown that in general the relaxation of foundation excavation has a negative impact on the performance of an arch dam, and the extent of elastic modulus degradation in the relaxation zone is the main factor affecting the stresses in the arch dam.

Research provides insight into quality of stored blood used for transfusions
New research provides evidence for significant differences between new and old red blood cells used for transfusions and could provide a cheap, rapid and effective way to monitor the quality of blood supplies.

A study will enable the survival and growth of the 3 development phases of the European eel
The aim is to verify the survival and growth of the elver, large elver and eel to be able to establish the effectiveness of this step as a means of management.

UT Dallas' Moller receives teaching award
Dr. Aage Moller of UT Dallas is known throughout the world for his innovative research on sensory systems and neural plasticity.

Exploring the market for 3-D nanopatterning techniques
Three-dimensional surfaces with features below 100 nanometers have numerous applications ranging from optics to life sciences.

UCSB scientists make strides in vision research
New research at UC Santa Barbara is contributing to the basic biological understanding of how retinas develop.

US home births increase 20 percent from 2004 to 2008
After a gradual decline from 1990 to 2004, a new study published online in Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care finds that United States births occurring at home increased by 20 percent between 2004 and 2008.

Poor understanding of anesthesiologist's role during labor may affect maternal and fetal outcomes
A new study, led by researchers from St. Michael's Hospital and the Wilson Centre for Research in Education and the Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto, has found that many labor and delivery health professionals lack a clear understanding of the anesthesiologist's role as a physician with specialized skills in the management of seriously unwell pregnant patients.

Better buildings for extreme climates will be focus of researcher's talk
Rima Taher, an expert in the design of low-rise buildings for extreme winds and hurricanes, will speak next week at the Annual Conference of Construction Specifications Canada in Montreal
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