Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 11, 2005
Establishing trust online is critical for online communication say NJIT experts
Establishing trust quickly is the key to effective Internet communication, especially when it comes to teaching online, according to researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Research news from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
A recent study of students in college found that a startling 27% were overweight, 6% were pre-diabetic, and 10% had either high total cholesterol or low HDL (

Older children may benefit from treatment for lazy eye
Some children aged seven to 17 who had previously been thought too old to benefit from treatment for amblyopia, commonly known as

Humor can increase hope, research shows
Laughter might be the best medicine for transforming the faintest of glimmers of hope into an eternal spring, reveals research at Texas A&M University that shows humor may significantly increase a person's level of hope.

Deep brain stimulation in Parkinson disease reduces uncontrolled movements
Deep brain stimulation of two different areas of the brain appears to improve problems with uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), according to an article in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

National trial shows older children benefit from treatment for childhood's most common eye disorder
Surprising results from a nationwide clinical trial show that many children age seven through 17 with lazy eye, or amblyopia, may benefit from treatments that are more commonly used on younger children.

Breakthrough isolating embryo-quality stem cells from blood
A major breakthrough in stem cell research - a new tool that could allow scientists to harvest stem cells ethically - will be announced at the Institute of Physics' conference Physics 2005 in Warwick later today (Tuesday 12th April).

Case finds dental patients agreeable to tobacco interventions
Dental patients don't mind if their dentists give them a nudge to stop using tobacco products, according to the findings of survey conducted at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

Carbon dioxide role in past climate revealed
Researchers at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the University of California, Santa Cruz have discovered that Earth's last great global warming period, 3 million years ago, may have been caused by levels of CO2 in the atmosphere similar to today's.

Few women at risk for breast cancer willing to use drug to prevent the disease
Fewer than one in five women eligible to take tamoxifen were inclined to take the drug after being told of its risks and benefits, according to a new study.

In years preceding medicare eligibility, many older adults at risk of being uninsured
At least one-fourth of older U.S. adults will be uninsured at some point during the years preceding Medicare eligibility, according to an article in the April 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Two drugs combined more cost-effective safer for managing arthritis in high-risk patients
A new UCLA study shows that for arthritis sufferers at high-risk for gastrointestinal problems, the most cost-effective safer treatment is a common painkiller combined with an acid-reducing drug.

Exercise may not be good enough to reduce mild hypertension in older people, Hopkins experts say
Moderate levels of exercise may not be enough to control mild hypertension in men and women over age 55, the age group most at risk of later developing potentially fatal heart failure, a new four-year study reports.

Research questions belief that private schools are better than publics
Students do better in private schools, according to common wisdom -- and some well-regarded data now more than two decades old.

Painless test using teardrops may speed diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome
Researchers in Japan are developing a faster, more accurate diagnostic test for Sjögren's (SHOW-grins) syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disorder characterized by chronically dry eyes and dry mouth.

Controversy in dyslipidemia guidelines
In 2003 the Canadian recommendations for the management and treatment of dyslipidemia were revised - but further revisions are in order, argue Manuel and colleagues in a commentary in this issue of CMAJ.

Little answers to world's biggest problems
An article published in the premier open-access global health journal PLoS Medicine discusses how nanotechnology can be harnessed to address some of the world's most critical development problems.

Hopkins study shows older children also benefit from 'lazy eye' treatment
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and 48 eye centers across North America report that many children between the ages of 7 and 17 with amblyopia, or

ACHRI study finds CellCept® improves survival in pediatric heart transplant patients
Pediatric heart transplant recipients taking the medication CellCept® (mycophenolate mofetil) as part of their anti-rejection treatment regimen experienced significantly fewer early rejection episodes and greatly improved survival, according to a study of nearly 400 pediatric patients, beginning two weeks post-transplant.

Nanotechnology's miniature answers to developing world's biggest problems
In a study by the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, a panel of international experts ranks the 10 nanotechnology applications in development worldwide with the greatest potential to aid the poor.

Optical computer made from frozen light
Scientists at Harvard University have shown how ultra-cold atoms can be used to freeze and control light to form the

'Motherwell's babies' study may yield up clues for adult diseases
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton have begun a new study into the effects of a mother's diet in pregnancy upon unborn babies and their future health.

Satellite maps will ease plight of endangered mountain gorillas
A two-year joint ESA and UNESCO project to chart the habitats of endangered mountain gorillas with satellites came to a fruitful finish in Paris, with end-users receiving final maps and geographical data products for use in the field.

At-risk middle schoolers: A good investment
A curriculum for middle schoolers based on learning about and investing in the stock market pays off in improved attendance, interest in school and grades.

Nature provides inspiration for important new adhesive
Researchers from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University have developed a new group of adhesives that may revolutionize a large portion of the wood products industry, and have important environmental and economic benefits.

UC Berkeley to lead $19 million NSF center on cybersecurity research
The NSF has announced that UC Berkeley will lead an ambitious multi-institution center to protect the nation's computer infrastructure from cyberattacks and improve its reliability.

Abnormal lung cancer screening results may help smokers quit
According to a new study, smokers who receive multiple abnormal results using computed tomography (CT) to screen for lung cancer are more likely to quit, suggesting an opportunity for doctors to motivate smokers to quit smoking.

Grandmothers' smoking linked to grandchildren's asthma decades later
A child whose grandmother smoked while pregnant may have double the risk of developing childhood asthma as a child whose grandmother did not smoke, according to researchers from the University of Southern California (USC).

Innovative collaboration brings Arctic science into the classroom
An upcoming expedition to study the Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers is not simply a research project for R.

Scientists announce world's most sensitive cancer test
Speaking at the Institute of Physics conference Physics 2005 in Warwick today (Tuesday 12th April), scientists will reveal a new test for cancer, more sensitive than any existing technique and capable of predicting for the first time whether a tumour has spread.

Location of body fat associated with cardiovascular risk even at normal body weight
The distribution of body fat in older men and women is associated with metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, even in normal weight individuals, according to the April 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Restless legs syndrome has complex genetic involvement
A new study confirmed that a gene associated with restless legs syndrome (RLS) susceptibility is located on chromosome 12q and and also suggests that at least one other gene may be involved in restless leg syndrome, according to an article in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

PNAS highlights for the week of April 11 - 15
This week's highlights include research on cloned beef and milk, elephant extinctions, and neural cliques for memory.

CyberExtruder exec lauds capstone program at NJIT and donates $10,000
Larry Gardner, chief executive officer of CyberExtruder, a young software development company, presented yesterday the second of two donations to the College of Computing Sciences (CCS) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Tissue engineering experts discuss orthopaedics applications
A future in which laboratory-grown organs and stimulated growth of muscle, bones and nerves could play a major role in treating medical conditions was revealed at a recent Tissue Engineering Symposium at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Onus is on educators to protect students from anti-gay bullying
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New recommendation encourages more activist approach to lung cancer screening
Physicians caring for people at high risk for lung cancer, such as current and former smokers, should inform their patients about options for screening for lung cancer, including CT and chest X-ray.

New material structure produces world's fastest transistor
A new type of transistor structure, invented by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has broken the 600 gigahertz speed barrier.

Early stage breast-cancer rates are rising as incidence of invasive cases are leveling
Since 1980, the incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ has increased more than sevenfold while the incidence of invasive breast cancer has leveled off.

NSF launches computer security center
ECornell University will be part of a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center that will bring together researchers from eight academic institutions, along with 10 industrial partners, to develop long-term solutions to computer security problems.

Fifteen-year hunt uncovers gene behind 'pseudothalidomide' syndrome
A team of scientists from Colombia, the United States and elsewhere has successfully completed a 15-year-plus search for the genetic problems behind the very rare Roberts syndrome, whose physical manifestations often include cleft lip and palate and shortened limbs that resemble those of babies whose mothers took thalidomide during pregnancy.

Nanotech advance makes carbon nanotubes more useful
Researchers at UCSD have made carbon nanotubes bent in sharp predetermined angles, a technical advance that could lead to use of the long, thin cylinders of carbon as tiny springs, tips for atomic force microscopes, smaller electrical connectors in integrated circuits, and in many other nanotechnology applications.

News briefs from the journal CHEST, April 2005
Researchers found that patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), who are unable to walk when admitted to the hospital, have a greater risk of death while in the hospital.

New method for dating ancient earthquakes through cave evidence developed by Israeli researchers
A new method for dating destructive past earthquakes, based on evidence remaining in caves has been developed by scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Geological Survey of Israel.

Study finds no link between cell phone use and brain tumors
A new study has found no link between use of cell phones and the risk of developing a brain tumor.

Childhood asthma may be linked to grandmother's smoking
A child whose grandmother smoked while pregnant may have double the risk of developing childhood asthma, according to new research.

Research shows overfishing of sharks key factor in coral reef decline
Scientists have developed an unprecedented model of a Caribbean marine ecosystem and details of its intricate predator-prey interactions.

Older children can benefit from treatment for childhood's most common eye disorder
Surprising results from a nationwide clinical trial show that many children age seven through 17 with amblyopia (lazy eye) may benefit from treatments that are more commonly used on younger children.

Study indicates thirsty plants keep deserts' subsurface dry
Desert vegetation might reduce water accumulation in soil should the climate shift toward wetter conditions, according to a study conducted by a team led by University of Texas at Austin hydrogeologists.

New energy publication launched by UH's Michael Economides
Michael Economides, University of Houston chemical engineering professor, and World Energy magazine launched World Energy Monthly Review.

Children's Hospital, Oakland's Dr. Barbara Staggers wins prestigious award
Children's Hospital, Oakland's Dr. Barbara Staggers, a longtime champion of adolescents and UC Berkeley alumnus, wins Peter E.

IEEE-USA white paper: US prosperity at risk; Gigabit networks should be national priority
The United States should deploy widespread wired and wireless gigabit networks as a national priority, according to a white paper from the IEEE-USA Committee on Communications and Information Policy (CCIP).

Babies use their own names to help learn language
A baby's understanding of language may begin with its own name, which a baby uses to break sentences into smaller parts so it can learn other words, according to new research by Texas A&M University psychologist Heather Bortfeld, who studies language development in infants and children.

Blood test can accurately diagnose heart failure in emergency patients
A new blood test that measures a particular marker of cardiac distress can markedly improve the ability to diagnose or exclude congestive heart failure in patients with shortness of breath who come to hospital emergency departments.

Molecular breakthrough for plastic electronics
The potential applications for flexible plastic electronics are enormous, but certain technological hurdles must be overcome before we see widespread use.

Whooping cranes stabilize vision to find food
Pronounced head-bobbing behavior during walking is a characteristic of diverse species of birds, but how this behavior benefits the birds and under what circumstances it proves useful have remained uncertain.

Higher education representatives advise chemistry faculty candidates on how to apply for positions
Chemical & Engineering News offers some concrete suggestions for would-be faculty members on how best to apply for chemistry jobs in higher education based on advice from a panel representing a broad spectrum of universities and colleges.

Worth the wait? A neural mechanism related to impulsive decision-making
Researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, have identified single neurons in the pigeon forebrain that play a role in controlling impulsive decisions -- in the pigeons' case, the preference for a small, immediate reward over a large, delayed reward.

Carnegie Mellon and U. of Pittsburgh create tool to understand neuron rhythms, learning
A simple, elegant method could enable scientists to predict how groups of neurons respond to one another and synchronize their activity, report investigators at Carnegie Mellon.

Soy and fish oil may help prevent heart attacks
Taking daily supplements of fish or soy oil may improve cardiac function and protect against heart attacks in the short-term.

New findings support a central role for NMDA receptors in learning and memory
This week, researchers report that by making targeted genetic disruptions that disable a key neurotransmitter receptor in the fruit fly, they have uncovered an important clue to the physiological mechanisms at work in learning and memory.

Aboriginal Canadians at high risk for severe trauma
A new study by Shahzeer Karmali and colleagues in this issue of CMAJ shows aboriginal Canadians are at a high risk of sustaining severe trauma.

Can toddlers understand what's really going on?
A Canada-U.S. research team has discovered that very young children absolutely comprehend that other people believe things that aren't true.

A new way to share models of biological systems
Today sees the launch of BioModels, the world's first database of annotated biological models.

New findings in taste and smell research
The Association for Chemoreception Sciences will host the largest meeting in its 27 year history April 13-17, 2005. 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