Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 01, 2012
Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God
When non-religious people think about their own death they become more consciously skeptical about religion, but unconsciously grow more receptive to religious belief, new University of Otago research suggests.

Epigenetic changes in twins and babies of dieting mothers increase obesity, diabetes risk
Expectant mothers might feel a little better about reaching for that pint of ice cream: New research in the FASEB Journal suggests that twins, and babies of mothers who diet around the time of conception and in early pregnancy, may have an increased risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

University of Illinois psychology professor receives APA Distinguished Scientist Award
Ed Diener, the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, is a 2012 recipient of the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.

DNA sequencing lays foundation for personalized cancer treatment
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are using powerful DNA sequencing technology not only to identify mutations at the root of a patient's tumor -- considered key to personalizing cancer treatment -- but to map the genetic evolution of disease and monitor response to treatment.

The role of physics in the sinking of the Titanic
A century on from the sinking of the Titanic, science writer Richard Corfield takes a look at the cascade of events that led to the demise of the 'unsinkable' ship, taking into account the maths and physics that played a significant part.

Raising the school leaving - while learning from another age
In April 1947 the post-war Labor Government raised the school leaving age from 14 to 15 and paved the way for a further increase to 16 in 1972.

Heart failure's effects in cells can be reversed with a rest
Structural changes in heart muscle cells after heart failure can be reversed by allowing the heart to rest, according to a new study.

Study finds protective gene in fat cells
In a finding that may challenge popular notions of body fat and health, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have shown how fat cells can protect the body against diabetes.

Fox Chase scientists identify key protein players in hard-to-treat breast cancers
At the time of diagnosis, the majority of breast cancers are categorized as estrogen-receptor positive, or hormone sensitive, which means their cancerous cells may need estrogen to grow.

Picky females promote diversity: UBC-IIASA study
Picky females play a critical role in the survival and diversity of species, according to a Nature study by researchers from the University of British Columbia and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria.

Accentuating the positive memories for sleep
Sleep plays a powerful role in preserving our memories. But while recent research shows that wakefulness may cloud memories of negative or traumatic events, a new study has found that wakefulness also degrades positive memories.

Protein Aurora-A is found to be associated with survival in head and neck cancer
Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia have found that a protein associated with other cancers appears to also be important in head and neck cancer, and may consequently serve as a good target for new treatments.

Mechanism found connecting metastatic breast cancer and arthritis
Working with mouse models, researchers have found a strong connection between autoimmune arthritis and increased aggressiveness in metastatic breast cancer.

How black holes grow
A study led by a University of Utah astrophysicist found a new explanation for the growth of supermassive black holes in the center of most galaxies: They repeatedly capture and swallow single stars from pairs of stars that wander too close.

New comparison of ocean temperatures reveals rise over the last century
A new study contrasting ocean temperature readings of the 1870s with temperatures of the modern seas reveals an upward trend of global ocean warming spanning at least 100 years.

South Pole Telescope hones in on dark energy, neutrinos
Analysis of data from the 10-meter South Pole Telescope is providing new support for the most widely accepted explanation of dark energy -- the source of the mysterious force that is responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

MDC-researchers elucidate molecular mechanism contributing to cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy comprises a deterioration of the heart muscle that affects the organ's ability to efficiently pump blood through the body.

Rare immune cells could hold key to treating immune disorders
The characterization of a rare immune cell's involvement in antibody production and ability to

Transforming scar tissue into beating hearts: The next instalment
The latest research developments to reprogram scar tissue resulting from myocardial infarction into viable heart muscle cells, were presented at the Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology 2012 meeting, held March 30 to April 1 at the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College in London.

SickKids-led study identifies multiple genes linked to differences in cystic fibrosis
An international team led by the Hospital for Sick Children and the University for Toronto has discovered multiple genes associated with meconium ileus, a severe intestinal obstruction present at birth in 15 percent of patients with cystic fibrosis.

New discovery may lead to effective prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host dsease
A new discovery in mice may lead to new treatments that could make bone marrow transplants more likely to succeed and to be significantly less dangerous.

Expert task force recommends halving global fishing for crucial prey species
Fishing for herring, anchovy, and other

Scientists uncover clue to preventing, and possibly reversing, rare childhood genetic disease
Rutgers scientists think they have found a way to prevent and possibly reverse the most debilitating symptoms of a rare, progressive childhood degenerative disease that leaves children with slurred speech, unable to walk, and in a wheelchair before they reach adolescence.

The protein survivin could be a useful biomarker for pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer kills more than 40,000 people every year. For 80 percent of patients, the disease is so advanced that treatment is unlikely to provide significantly life-extending benefits.

Gene variations linked to intestinal blockage in newborns with cystic fibrosis
The discovery by an international team of researchers offers the possibility of developing therapies to intervene in utero.

PI3K/mTOR pathway proteins tied to poor prognosis in breast cancer
Four proteins involved in translation, the final step of general protein production, are associated with poor prognosis in hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer when they are dysregulated, researchers reported at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012.

Second mutation in BRAF-mutated melanoma doesn't contribute to resistance
A second mutation found in the tumors of patients with BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma does not contribute to resistance to BRAF inhibitor drugs, a finding that runs counter to what scientists expected to be true.
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