Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (November 2007)

Science news and science current events archive November, 2007.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from November 2007

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

UK hospitals short-changing women with heart failure
Women with heart failure are less likely than men to receive recommended investigations and treatment, when admitted to hospital as an emergency, reveals an extensive UK survey, published ahead of print in the journal Heart.

New book tells the untold secret of museum's Egyptian mummies
A new book due to be launched tonight tells the untold secrets of Manchester's answer to Tutankhamen: the

CT angiography highly accurate, multicenter trials show
Computed tomography angiography is as accurate as an invasive angiogram in detecting coronary artery disease, according to findings from the first two prospective multicenter 64-slice scanner trials.

Better detection accounts for increase in cases of thyroid cancer
In this longitudinal study over 12 years, the authors found a jump in the incidence rate of differentiated thyroid cancer of 146 percent over the 12-year period, or an annual increase of 13 percent per year.

Massive project reveals shortcomings of modern genome analysis
The sequencing and comparison of 12 fruit fly genomes -- the result of a massive collaboration of hundreds of scientists from more than 100 institutions in 16 countries -- has thrust forward researchers' understanding of fruit flies, a popular animal model in science. But even human genome biologists may want to take note: The project also has revealed considerable flaws in the way they identify genes.

Blood stem cells fight invaders, study finds
Researchers have discovered that blood stem cells are capable of patrolling the body's organs where they seek out, and respond to, pathogens. They appear to be proactive participants in our innate immune response.

Older adults not more distractible, research shows
Despite previous research suggesting that older adults are more distractible, new research shows they are no more distractible than younger adults when asked to focus their attention on their sense of sight or sound, or when asked to switch their attention from one sense to the other.

Springer titles to be preserved by Portico
Portico is pleased to announce the signing of an agreement with Springer to preserve 824 titles from its online journals collection. Additional journals published with partner societies and other third parties will be incorporated into the agreement over time. Through this agreement with Portico, Springer ensures that its online journals are preserved and available for future scholars, researchers and students. Springer has also agreed to make an annual financial contribution to Portico.

Study shows Google favored over other search engines by webmasters
Web site policy makers who use robots.txt files as gatekeepers to specify what is open and what is off limits to Web crawlers have a bias that favors Google over other search engines, say Penn State researchers whose study of more than 7,500 Web sites revealed Google's advantage.

JeanMarie Houghton, MD, PhD, recognized as one of nation's top young scientists
University of Massachusetts Medical School associate professor of medicine and cancer biology JeanMarie Houghton, MD, PhD, was recognized today as one of the country's most talented rising scientific stars in a White House ceremony applauding the 2006 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Awards.

High blood pressure may heighten effects of Alzheimer's disease
Having hypertension, or high blood pressure, reduces blood flow in the brains of adults with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

The structural basis of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is revealed
Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the leading cause of sudden death in athletes and young people, is a genetic heart disorder that is characterized by an increased thickness in tissue of the left ventricle. A study conducted by scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research provides new structural evidence that the disarray at the molecular level caused by the R403Q point mutation in myosin is linked to the characteristic misalignment of muscle cells in FHC.

Ancient retroviruses spurred evolution of gene regulatory networks in humans and other primates
Ancient retroviruses -- distant relatives of the human immunodeficiency virus -- helped a gene called p53 become an important

AAPM statement on DEA ruling allowing multiple prescriptions for controlled substances
The American Academy of Pain Medicine supports today's Drug Enforcement Administration ruling, which allows multiple prescriptions for controlled substances when appropriate. This DEA Final Ruling,

Number of cases of most vaccine-preventable diseases in US at all-time low
A comparison of illness and death rates for 13 vaccine-preventable diseases in the US, before and after use of the vaccine, indicates there have been significant decreases in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths for each of the diseases examined, according to a study in the Nov. 14 issue of JAMA.

Penn State gets Critical Zone Observatory
Shale Hills in central Pennsylvania is already a busy area in Penn State's managed forest lands, but now a five-year $4.2 million National Science Foundation grant will make it even busier as scientists study how soils form from bedrock and how soil formation affects water movement and groundwater flow to streams.

Breathe deep: Which patients could benefit from inhaled steroids in cystic fibrosis?
A specific variation in the glucocorticoid receptor gene is associated with lung disease progression in cystic fibrosis, research published this week in the online open access journal Respiratory Research reveals. This finding adds weight to previous research suggesting that specific subgroups of patients with cystic fibrosis may benefit from glucocorticoid treatment.

Out-of-hours doctors reluctant to do home visits, say patients
Patients feel that doctors providing out-of-hours services in primary care are reluctant to do home visits, shows a small study of patients' experiences in Quality and Safety in Health Care.

Helium isotopes point to new sources of geothermal energy
By measuring helium isotope ratios in fluids at the surface, geochemists Mack Kennedy of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Matthijs van Soest of Arizona State University have discovered a new tool for identifying potential geothermal energy resources. The potential resources arise not from volcanism but from the flow of surface fluids through deep fractures that penetrate the earth's lower crust, in regions far from current or recent volcanic activity.

'Cooling down' begins at Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Refrigeration units began pumping chilly air deep into an Arctic mountain cavern today, launching the innovative and critical

Aging improves parent, child relationships, research shows
The majority of relationships between parents and their adult children improve as parents transition to old age, a Purdue University researcher has found. The study showed that a majority of parents and children mentioned positive changes in their relationship, even as parents experienced declines in health.

Investigating the failure mechanisms of fuel cells will improve their durability
Researchers in the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies believe that understanding how and why fuel cells fail is the key to both reducing cost and improving durability. The problems they are addressing include chemical attack of the membrane, carbon corrosion and platinum instability.

TU Delft demonstrates new control techniques for preventing aircraft crashes
On Wednesday Nov. 21, TU Delft will demonstrate how improved control techniques can reduce the risk of aircraft crashes. The demonstration involves reconstructing troubled flights -- such as the El Al flight which crashed in the Bijlmer area of Amsterdam in 1992 -- in a flight simulator and adding the newly developed technology.

Powerful integration of lipid metabolic profiling with gene expression analysis
A recently published research article in the Journal of Proteome Research demonstrates the synergisms and enhanced analytic power of the combination of thorough metabolic profiling with the unique and proprietary microarray analysis methods of Genomatix Software GmbH.

Researchers identify unusual molecular switch for common form of advanced breast cancer
New evidence demonstrates that a novel molecular switch is involved in the development of a common form of advanced breast cancer, known as locally advanced breast cancer. The research, published by Cell Press in the Nov. 9, 2007 issue of Molecular Cell, provides an exciting paradigm shift in the understanding of a key event in breast cancer development and presents new therapeutic opportunities for this deadly disease.

Chronic HIV-1 infection frequently fails to protect against superinfection
Natural HIV-1 infection does not always elicit a protective immune response, according to a new study published Nov. 16 in PLoS Pathogens. The team of researchers show how HIV-1 vaccines may not be as reliable against superinfection as once thought. This study suggests that immune responses found in natural HIV-1 infection may not be the best path to an effective HIV-1 vaccine.

Simple recipe turns human skin cells into embryonic stem cell-like cells
A simple recipe -- including just four ingredients -- can transform adult human skin cells into cells that resemble embryonic stem cells, researchers report in an immediate early publication of the journal Cell, a publication of Cell Press. The converted cells have many of the physical, growth and genetic features typically found in embryonic stem cells and can differentiate to produce other tissue types, including neurons and heart tissue, according to the researchers.

New challenges for diagnosis of bacterial STIs
This year cases of sexually transmitted infections have risen by 2 percent in the UK, in spite of a small drop in the incidence of syphilis and gonorrhoea, according to scientists speaking today (Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007) at the Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2007 at the University of Cardiff, UK, which runs from Nov. 28-30, 2007.

Histochemistry is the golden standard in the diagnosis of carcinosarcomas
Carcinosarcomas are rare, malignant, biphasic tumors. Those in the upper gastrointestinal tract are observed mostly in the esophagus; stomach localization is less frequently reported.

Cameras never lie -- but doctored photos can change history
Doctored photos of past public events can influence what people think they remember of the incident, as well as altering their attitudes and any subsequent responses, according to research published today in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology.

A molecular switch is linked to a common breast cancer
Researchers have discovered that a molecular switch in the protein-making machinery of cells is linked to one of the most common forms of lethal breast cancer worldwide. The discovery by researchers at NYU School of Medicine could lead to new therapies for the cancer, called locally advanced breast cancer.

A novel way found to prevent protein plaques implicated in Alzheimer's
For unknown reasons a protein called amyloid beta aggregates into toxic plaques in the brain, killing neurons. These plaques are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Now two new animal studies show for the first time that the deadly transformation of amyloid beta into plaques can be prevented through an interaction between amyloid beta and another protein called cystatin C.

Copper damages protein that defends against Alzheimer's
Copper can damage a molecule that escorts out of the brain a substance called amyloid beta that builds up in toxic quantities in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The new findings demonstrate one way in which copper might contribute to the development of the disease, though scientists say much more research needs to be done to clarify what role, if any, copper ultimately plays.

Remains of ancient synagogue with unique mosaic floor found in Galilee
Remains of an ancient synagogue from the Roman-Byzantine era have been revealed in excavations carried out in the Arbel National Park in the Galilee under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A unique feature of the synagogue is the design of its mosaic floor.

Comparative analyses of 12 fly genomes reveals new insights on genome evolution and regulation
Genome Research is publishing papers related to comparative analyses of 12 Drosophila (fly) genomes. The 12 fly genome project allows analyses of closely related species for a more complete and correct annotation of functional genes and regulatory elements in Drosophila melanogaster, a major model organism in genetics. These papers will appear online on Nov. 7, concurrent with the publication of two main papers on the comparative sequence analyses of twelve fly genomes in the journal Nature.

Britney and K-Fed doing it all wrong, MU family researcher says
Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline continue to duke it out in the headlines over the custody of their two children. A University of Missouri-Columbia researcher and expert in divorce and stepfamily issues said this story should open everyone's eyes to the damage that can be inflicted on children who are caught in a custody war.

New research discredits $100B global warming 'fix'
Scientists have revealed an important discovery that raises doubts concerning the viability of plans to fertilize the ocean to solve global warming, a projected $100 billion venture. According to Dr. Michael Lutz at UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, ocean fertilization schemes, which resemble an artificial summer, may not remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as has been suggested, because they ignore important natural processes.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Nov. 2007
Story ideas included encompass materials, medical and energy topics.

Rhode Island Hospital news tips from Radiological Society of North America 2007 annual meeting
Rhode Island Hospital radiologists present innovative research on adrenal masses and CT scans, radiofrequency ablation and kidney tumors, and microwave ablation and lung tumors at the Radiological Society of North America 2007 annual meeting Nov. 25-30, 2007 in Chicago, Ill.

Northwestern study looks at sensing, movement and behavior
Northwestern University researchers are the first to clearly quantify the stopping motor volume and sensory volume for any animal. They then explored the relationships between the two volumes, defined three modes in which an animal could find itself in relation to another object and looked specifically at the Amazon's black ghost knifefish.

Lancet and Global Forum for Health Research essay competition winners announced
The second joint essay competition, sponsored by the Lancet and the Global Forum for Health Research and themed

UTSA new center for manufacturing awarded $500,000
The Department of Defense has awarded the University of Texas at San Antonio $500,000 to support a new Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems.

Latin American adolescents are more likely to become infected with HIV than Spanish
A research work carried out in the UGR among 219 young immigrants and natives aged between 14 and 19 years reveals that the first use methods of birth control less frequently, have more sex partners and start having sex earlier. Tomorrow, Dec. 1, is the World AIDS Day. In Spain, one of every five new cases of AIDS and one of every three new diagnosed infections with HIV are suffered by immigrants.

Mars Express probes the Red Planet's most unusual deposits
The radar system on ESA's Mars Express has uncovered new details about some of the most mysterious deposits on Mars: The Medusae Fossae Formation. It has given the first direct measurement of the depth and electrical properties of these materials, providing new clues about their origin.

Marijuana-like brain chemicals work as antidepressant
American and Italian researchers have found that boosting the amounts of a marijuana-like brain transmitter called anandamide produces antidepressant effects in test rats.

UNH scientists report first findings on key astrophysics problem
In a paper published recently in the journal Nature Physics, an international team of space scientists led by researchers from the University of New Hampshire present findings on the first experimental evidence that points in a new direction toward the solution of a longstanding, central problem of plasma astrophysics and space physics.

Foods, not specific nutrients, may be key to good health
In a recent academic review, a University of Minnesota professor in the School of Public Health has concluded that food, as opposed to specific nutrients, may be key to having a healthy diet.

MU study finds that sitting may increase risk of disease
University of Missouri-Columbia researchers have found that standing during the day not only burns double the number of calories as sitting, but also has some long-lasting healthy benefits for the body.

Texas A&M researchers examine Einstein's theories on the universe
Einstein's self-proclaimed

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