Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 30, 2011
Parental conflict in plants: Maternal factors silence paternal genes
In flowering plants, the beginning of embryogenesis is almost exclusively governed by maternal gene activity.

Can stress increase the risk of multiple sclerosis?
Contrary to earlier reports, a new study finds that stress does not appear to increase a person's risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

A mammoth task -- sorting out mammoth evolution
Mammoths were a diverse genus that roamed across Eurasia and North America during the Pleistocene era.

Attitudes toward end-of-life care: A survey of cancer patients and others in Korea
Attitudes toward end-of-life care for cancer patients vary, but most patients, family members, oncologists and members of the public are receptive to withdrawing futile life-sustaining treatments in people who are dying, found a Korean study in CMAJ.

Climate change is analyzed from the perspective of the social sciences
Research being carried out at Carlos III University of Madrid analyzes the key factors in climate change and the risks to public policies that it implies.

'E-waste pollution' a threat to human health, new research suggests
In addition to its damaging effect on the environment and its illegal smuggling into developing countries, researchers have now linked e-waste to adverse effects on human health, such as inflammation and oxidative stress -- precursors to cardiovascular disease, DNA damage and possibly cancer.

Private weight-loss surgery clinics shedding quality patient care
Private health clinics across Canada providing weight-loss surgeries are offering much shorter wait times but at a hefty cost and at the expense of quality patient care, according to a new study led by St.

Researchers begin effort to reduce crop loss from parasitic weed attacking Africa's crops
Scientists based in Nigeria and Kenya have begun a major push against parasitic weeds that have spread across much of sub-Saharan Africa, causing up to $1.2 billion in damage every year to the maize and cowpea crops of tens of millions of small farmers.

History shows that all-boy classrooms might actually benefit girls
Greig's research is both a refutation of the idea that boys' academic disadvantages can be solved just by removing girls from the equation and a criticism of the present level of discourse.

New malaria protein structure upends theory of how cells grow and move
Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have overturned conventional wisdom on how cell movement across all species is controlled, solving the structure of a protein that cuts power to the cell

Noncoding RNA may promote Alzheimer's disease
Researchers pinpoint a small RNA that spurs cells to manufacture a particular splice variant of a key neuronal protein, potentially promoting Alzheimer's disease or other types of neurodegeneration.

Risk of blood clots in veins hereditary
In a nationwide study, researchers at the Centre for Primary Health Care Research in Malmö, Sweden, have mapped the significance of hereditary factors in venous thromboembolism.

Wikipedia improves students' work
A student writing an essay for their teacher may be tempted to plagiarize or leave facts unchecked.

Targeted testing offers treatment hope for ovarian cancer patients
Women with ovarian cancer could be helped by a new test that identifies the specific type of tumor they have, a conference will hear this week.

Arrowing in on Alzheimer's disease
Recently the number of genes known to be associated with Alzheimer's disease has increased from four to eight, including the MS4A gene cluster on chromosome 11.

Sympathy for the devil?
Misconceptions about the Church of Satan abound. For many people, anything with the word Satan is synonymous with evil, conjuring up images of gory offerings and babies bred for sacrifice.

DTC genetic tests neither accurate in their predictions nor beneficial to individuals
Direct to consumer genetic tests are inaccurate in their predictions, mislead patients, and many of them should be banned, say European clinical geneticists.

Mutated muscle protein causes deafness
Gene mutations on the X chromosome lead to progressive hearing impairment.

PGD can permit the birth of healthy children to women carrying mitochondrial DNA disease
Dutch researchers have developed a test which predicts which mothers at risk of passing on mitochondrial genetic disease to their children are likely to have a healthy baby

The search for an effective treatment for critical limb ischemia continues as phase 3 trial of novel gene therapy shows no benefit
Despite showing promising results in a recent phase 2 trial, administration of a novel gene therapy (NV1FGF) to enhance the growth of new blood vessels in people with critical limb ischemia (whose legs are damaged when blocked arteries lead to a lack of blood flow), does not reduce amputation or death, according to the results of the phase 3 TAMARIS trial.

New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 enzyme acquired in Canada
An enzyme associated with extensive antibiotic resistance called New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase-1 (NDM-1), endemic in India and Pakistan and spreading worldwide, has been found in two people in the Toronto area, one of whom acquired it in Canada, states a case report in CMAJ.

Researchers from the Viikki Biocenter discover how plants control the formation of wood cells
An international research group headed by professor and research director Yrjö Helariutta has discovered the genetic process that controls the development of wood cells in the roots of plants.

Climate played big role in Vikings' disappearance from Greenland
Greenland's early Viking settlers were subjected to rapidly changing climate.

Researchers solve mammoth evolutionary puzzle: The woollies weren't picky, happy to interbreed
A DNA-based study sheds new light on the complex evolutionary history of the woolly mammoth, suggesting it mated with a completely different and much larger species.
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