Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 15, 2012
Quantitative imaging application to gut and ear cells are reported in 2 Nature papers
With its use of stable isotopes as tracers, MIMS has opened the door for biomedical researchers to answer various biological questions, as two new studies have demonstrated.

Mass gatherings offer unique opportunities to communicate public health messages about infectious disease threats and promote interventions to benefit global health
Although mass gatherings have the potential to amplify and accelerate the spread of infectious disease across the world, they also provide unique opportunities to promote public health action such as vaccination that can lessen the risks for the host communities and benefit the countries to which participants return, according to the second paper in the Lancet Infectious Diseases series on mass gatherings health.

Eyeing resources, India, China, Brazil, Japan, other countries want a voice on Arctic Council
With an eye on rapid changes in the resource-rich Arctic, countries like China, India and Brazil, which have no Arctic territories, are nonetheless knocking on the door of the increasingly influential Arctic Council looking for admission as permanent observers.

CSHL team introduces automated imaging to greatly speed whole-brain mapping efforts
New technology developed at CSHL transforms the way detailed anatomical images can be made of whole brains and will greatly facilitate systematic comparison of neuroanatomy in mouse models of human brain disorders, e.g., autism and schizophrenia.

Good parents are predictable -- at least when it comes to corn
In order to breed new varieties of corn with a higher yield faster than ever before, researchers at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, and other institutions are relying on a trick: early selection of the most promising parent plants based on their chemical and genetic makeup, as well as on new statistical analysis procedures.

Engineering team completes ambitious Antarctic expedition in the 'deep-field'
A team of four British engineers has returned to the UK after completing a grueling journey to one of the most remote and hostile locations on the planet to put in place equipment and supplies for an ambitious project later this year.

New technologies that help anticipate the international spread of infectious diseases could benefit hosts of future mass gatherings like the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games
Coupling surveillance systems that use the internet to detect infectious disease outbreaks around the world in near real-time with novel technology that tracks and predicts global population movements through commercial air travel, could create new opportunities for hosts of mass gatherings (MGs) to better prepare for and respond to infectious disease threats, according to the fifth paper in the Lancet Infectious Diseases series on MGs health.

Computer models that help predict crowd behavior could be used to prevent the spread of infections at mass gatherings
Understanding the movement and behavior of crowds is essential to minimizing health hazards at mass gatherings (MGs).

Researchers use sugar to halt esophageal cancer in its tracks
Scientists working at the Medical Research Council have identified changes in the patterns of sugar molecules that line pre-cancerous cells in the esophagus, a condition called Barrett's dysplasia, making it much easier to detect and remove these cells before they develop into esophageal cancer.

Rutgers, Massachusetts General investigators find novel way to prevent drug-induced liver injury
Rutgers University and Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have developed a novel strategy to protect the liver from drug-induced injury and improve associated drug safety.

Ultra short telomeres linked to osteoarthritis
Telomeres, the very ends of chromosomes, become shorter as we age.

Stampedes and heatstroke leading causes of death at mass gatherings
Noncommunicable diseases and injuries are the leading cause of death and illness at mass gatherings and a major public-health problem, with human stampedes and heatstroke the main reasons for loss of life at such events.

Lessons learned from the management of the Hajj pilgrimage could help strengthen global health security
The first paper suggests that lessons learned from decades of managing the safety and well-being of millions of pilgrims at the annual Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia could help prevent global disease outbreaks and tackle other complex public health challenges at mass gatherings, like the Olympic Games and G20 summits.

Neural balls and strikes: Where categories live in the brain
Hundreds of times during a baseball game, the home plate umpire must instantaneously categorize a fast-moving pitch as a ball or a strike.

Realising the public health benefits of policies to tackle health security and other risks of mass gatherings -- a call to action
In the sixth and final paper in the Lancet Infectious Diseases series on mass gatherings health, a call to action is made to realize the public health benefits that tackling health security and other health risks at mass gatherings will bring.

Scientists shed new light on link between 'killer cells' and diabetes
Killer T-cells in the human body which help protect us from disease can inadvertently destroy cells that produce insulin, new research has uncovered.

Mass. General researchers find novel way to prevent drug-induced liver injury
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have developed a novel strategy to protect the liver from drug-induced injury and improve associated drug safety.
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