Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 27, 2004
One light beam switches another for photonic circuits
Cornell University researchers have demonstrated for the first time a device that allows one low-powered beam of light to switch another on and off on silicon, a key component for future

Cognitive behavioral therapy combined with antidepressant effective in treating adolescent OCD
According to current epidemiological data, approximately 1 in 200 young people suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Genetically endowed worm may substitute for rodents in some toxicology testing
A primitive roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is being evaluated in a Duke University laboratory as a cheaper and quicker alternative to rats and mice in testing chemicals for several kinds of toxicity.

Physical inactivity costs millions in health care expenses
Lack of physical activity is costly not just to people's health but to their wallets as well, a new study suggests.

New finding could make addiction treatment more effective
New research about how alcohol affects sleep could lead to medications to address a common reason some alcoholics go back to drinking - disturbed sleep when they try to stop.

NIH funds rare childhood disease to provide insights into the origins of adult cancer
US Representative, researchers, patients and supporters of Schneider Children's Hospital (SCH) gathered earlier this week to announce the awarding of a $1 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to expand research into a rare blood disease called Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), which researchers have found to be associated with an increased risk of cancer and a high rate of birth defects.

Mail-order drugs exposed to extreme heat become less effective
Mail-order prescriptions exposed to excessive environmental heat, such as temperatures found in mailboxes and car interiors, may become significantly less effective for patients.

Adults with dyslexia can improve with phonics-based instruction
New research shows that phonics-based instruction can actually change brain activity in adults with dyslexia, resulting in significant improvements in reading.

Higher radiation doses help some lung cancer patients live longer
Treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer more aggressively by giving them higher doses of radiation helps keep the disease from spreading and allows some patients to live longer, according to a new study published in the November 1, 2004, issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

New Italian research links migraine and endometriosis
Women with endometriosis have a higher risk of also having migraine according to research published (Thursday 28 October) in Human Reproduction.

WSU scientists convert baby powder chemical for use as light emitting source
Zinc oxide, a product used for decades in baby powder, has a bright future as a light source, according to David Look, Ph.D., a senior research physicist and director of the Semiconductor Research Center at Wright State University.

New analysis links breastfeeding to reduced risk of childhood leukemia
Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing childhood leukemia, according to a new analysis of 14 studies by UC Berkeley researchers published in the journal Public Health Reports.

Military hazards are greater for Native Americans, according to sociological research
A new study by sociologists at Washington State University (WSU) suggests Native Americans and their lands are disproportionately exposed to hazards posed by the U.S. military's explosive and toxic munitions.

Promise for helping adults with dyslexia
Adults suffering from dyslexia can benefit from tutoring in processing words, and their brains show changes that indicate neural modifications due to the training, researchers have found.

Research on 'holes' may unearth causes of superconductivity
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have uncovered another possible clue to the causes of high-temperature superconductivity, a phenomenon in which the electrical resistance of a material disappears below a certain temperature.

NIST helps capital facilities industry join information revolution
In collaboration with industry, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new consensus language for exchanging information within the capital facilities industry.

From pulp to polymers
Wood pulp might make the paper industry go around, but this renewable product has untapped potential for a variety of uses, according to a University of Maine professor.

Fetal tissue restores lost sight
A team in the US have dramatically saved the sight of a patient with retinitis pigmentosa - a cause of blindness affecting millions of people.

Yale to study marijuana, ecstasy and teen cognitive deficits
Yale has received a $1.7 million grant to study whether a history of use of ecstasy and marijuana is associated with cognitive deficits in adolescents.

Paratek Pharmaceuticals presents multiple sclerosis data at Society for Neuroscience annual meeting
Paratek Pharmaceuticals is announcing a breakthrough in research for multiple sclerosis (MS) - the development of a new class of compounds, termed non-antibacterial tetracyclines, which have demonstrated promising activity against the best preclinical model of the disease, the EAE model (Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis).

Update on TB therapies in development on November 1 teleconference
Teleconference to recap presentations given on TB therapies in development from the IUATLD conference in Paris and the ICAAC conference in Latest scientific studies and results will be shared; briefings from the TB Alliance, leading pharmaceutical companies and academic laboratories will participate.

Study questions safety of heart procedures at hospitals without cardiac surgery programs
Rekindling a debate on the safety of performing an increasingly popular non-surgical heart procedure in hospitals that do not have onsite cardiac surgery programs, a study led by Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) concluded that patients who undergo the procedure in hospitals without cardiac surgeons have a higher rate of mortality than those in hospitals with a cardiac surgery program.

U.Va. Health System adds new cancer treatment center
Virginia residents and those from throughout the mid-Atlantic region will soon have access to one of the worlds' most advanced cancer treatment systems.

Agrobiosecurity and You: Topic of scientific meeting in Seattle
The Nov. 1 symposium will bring together five distinguished panelists, representing various organizations who will address a variety of agrobiosecurity issues, including protecting the U.S. agriculture infrastructure, the role of researchers in the nation's response to threats, and the sensitive nature of information exchange.

New software judges quality of scanned fingerprints
An improved suite of automated fingerprint analysis tools, including a new software program that judges the quality of a scanned fingerprint, is now available to U.S. law enforcement agencies, manufacturers and biometrics researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Tennenbaum Institute at Georgia Tech founded to lead enterprise transformation
Thanks to a $5 million gift from Tech alumnus Michael Tennenbaum, Georgia Tech is able to form a new multi-disciplinary center to bring together academic, government and corporate experts to create advances in enterprise transformation, which involves designing practices and cultures to best leverage the nature of innovations.

Humans and dolphins: If brain size is a measure, we're not that different
Scientists have determined how brain size changed in dolphins and their relatives over the past 47 million years, and how these species evolved in relation to humans.

Research on nerve cell circuitry reveals clue about schizophrenia
Animal research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has found how one of the genes linked to schizophrenia might function to cause the disease.

Contract signed for GOCE data analysis and modelling
Yesterday, an important milestone was reached in the development of ESA's GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) mission, when a contract, worth €7.8 million, was signed between ESA and the Institute for Astronomical and Physical Geodesy (IAPG) from the Technical University of Munich.

Multi-rate laser pulses could boost outdoor optical wireless performance
Multi-rate, ultra-short laser pulses -- with wave forms shaped like dolphin chirps -- offer a new approach to help optical wireless signals penetrate clouds, fog and other adverse weather conditions, say Penn State engineers.

NSF gives 'teeth' to biomaterials research
Clemson University has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation program.

UCSD biologists discover chemical important in guiding visual system development
University of California, San Diego neurobiologists have discovered a chemical responsible for the bursts of electrical activity in the brain that guide the development of the visual system, a finding that may bring rewiring of damaged visual circuits closer to reality.

Clemson to work on NSF Digital Library
A grant from the National Science Foundation has strengthened Clemson University's partnership with Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., recipient of one of four National Digital Library Pathways Projects awards worth more than $2 million.

Location of body fat important in predicting heart attack risk
For elderly women, the location of body fat is more important than total fat amount in predicting future heart attacks, according to researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues.

Novartis receives European marketing authorization for Emselex(R)
Novartis Pharma AG announced today that Emselex® (darifenacin hydrobromide), 7.5 mg and 15 mg, has been granted Marketing Authorization by the European Commission for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) in all 25 European member states as well as Norway and Iceland.

Stellar survivor from 1572 A.D. explosion supports supernova theory
An international team of astronomers is announcing today that they have identified the probable surviving companion star to a titanic supernova explosion witnessed in the year 1572 by the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era.

New research helps protect airplane engines from drizzle --system to be tested at DIA this winter
New technology that detects and measures heavy freezing drizzle could save airlines millions of dollars in engine repairs.

Solutions to stop fishermen returning dead and dying marine animals back into sea - study
UK scientists have produced a potential solution to a problem fishing activity - discarding dead and unwanted fish - which costs the industry millions of pounds and has a major impact on the marine environment worldwide.

Yerkes researchers to present array of new data at Society for Neuroscience Meeting
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University will present an array of new data at this year's Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, October 23 - 27, 2004.

Development of working memory, allowing voluntary control of behavior, defined
A person's ability to have voluntary control over behavior depends on the brain processes, used, changes during development and gets better with age, according to a research study by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Warning from new SLU research: Usual test for vitamin deficiency can mislead doctors
Findings presented at an October meeting of the American Neurological Association could change the way patients are treated.

Evidence that learning is consolidated during sleep
There is new scientific evidence to support the time-honored advice to students cramming for exams to get themselves a good night's sleep after studying.

Cruise ships -- An alternative to assisted living facilities for the elderly?
Living on a cruise ship is a feasible and cost-effective option to assisted living facilities, and the services offered on a cruise ship parallel -- even surpass -- what is provided in senior care facilities, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

'Going through the motions' to better treat dementia
Doctors are turning to wireless technology in an effort to better treat people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

NIH awards 1,400 new student loan repayment contracts
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported today that it has awarded student loan repayment contracts to more than 1,400 health researchers across the nation in Fiscal Year 2004.

Exercise for special populations, sensory research, factors impacting rehabilitation top issues
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) includes articles that focus on wound healing, health and psychological benefits of exercise for aging adults and people with disabilities, factors impacting rehabilitation effectiveness, as well as speech recognition systems and low vision programs.

Watts from wastewater: New device produces power while treating sewage
A new technology can turn raw sewage into raw power.

Old dogs, new tricks?
New findings from researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have shown that there is hope for individuals suffering a life-long history of reading problems.

Academics work to help stressed-out cats
Cats, like humans, can develop stress-related illness, University of Edinburgh experts have found.

FDA approves Fosrenol(R) in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients
New phosphate binder effectively lowers damaging phosphate levels in ESRD patients without the long-term safety problems of traditional options. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to