Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 22, 2005
NSF names seven distinguished teaching scholars
Seven of the nation's leaders in research and education are being honored today by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as Director's Distinguished Teaching Scholars (DTS) for having achieved not only groundbreaking results in research, but for their strong teaching and mentoring skills and major educational contributions.

Study finds parking lot sealcoat may be major source of PAHs
A joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the City of Austin (Texas) has found that runoff from parking lot sealcoat, a black coating used to protect and beautify asphalt, is a previously unrecognized source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Mars Express radar ready to work
MARSIS, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding on board ESA's Mars Express orbiter, is now fully deployed.

Oral rinse predictor of marrow transplant effectiveness
Simple analysis of a bone marrow transplant patient's oral rinse can give medical personnel a quick indication of the transplant's effectiveness and predict whether an infection will develop, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Chiropractors aim to slash waiting times
Telemedicine - the use of technology to deliver medical services to the point of need - is tipped to drastically reduce patient waiting times and revolutionise the delivery of healthcare around the world.

Scripps scientists identify target of an immune suppression molecule called CD22--itself
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have applied an innovative approach to studying human proteins that bind to sugar molecules on the surface of human cells to discover how one crucial aspect of our immune system works.

Researchers find first evidence of venom system in extinct mammal
A tiny fossil found more than 10 years ago has proved to be the key to answering a long unsolved evolutionary question, say researchers from the University of Alberta.

Genetically modified cells migrate to brain and treat neurodegeneration in St. Jude model
Physicians might one day be able to treat a disease that destroys brain cells in children using genetically modified cells to transport a

Speed limits may not be saving lives
Recent research shows that there is no widespread connection between a higher highway speed limit and a higher fatality rate.

Rise in ICSI cycles suggests infertility could be affecting more men than women
Infertility may be becoming more of a man's problem than a woman's problem according to new figures released at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Invasive parasite destroying fish species
Researchers have discovered that a parasite carried by an invasive species of minnow is responsible for the dramatic declines and localized extinctions of a different minnow species in Europe during the past 40 years.

Scientists discover the body's marijuana-like compounds are crucial for stress-induced pain relief
A new study shows, for the first time, that the release of the body's own marijuana-like compounds is crucial to stress-induced analgesia - the body's way of initially shielding pain after a serious injury.

CBEN: Buckyball aggregates are soluble, antibacterial
In some of the first research to probe how buckyballs will interact with natural ecosystems, Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology finds that the molecules spontaneously clump together upon contact with water, forming aggregate nanoparticles that are both soluble and toxic to bacteria.

Researchers grow stem cells from human skin
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have successfully isolated stem cells from human skin, expanded them in the laboratory and coaxed them into becoming fat, muscle and bone cells.

Molecular steps involved in the creation of gene-silencing microRNAs identified
MicroRNAs are small, remarkably powerful molecules that play a pivotal role in gene silencing.

Sound turns liquid to jelly
Japanese researchers have devised a method, using a burst of ultrasound waves, to turn a range of oily liquid solutions to jelly.

Brown-Harvard team solves mobile DNA's surgical sleight-of-hand
How mobile DNA enters a target DNA to insert genes is a complex snip-and-solder trick used to spread antibiotic resistance, Lyme disease, even tumor viruses.

MIT group creates a high-temperature superfluid
Physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created the first example of a high-temperature superfluid: A new state of matter in which the atoms in a gas can move with no friction or slowing down whatsoever.

New material could improve fabrication of nanoscale components
Chemists at Penn State have developed a new type of ultrathin film with unusual properties that could improve the fabrication of increasingly smaller and more intricate electronic and sensing devices.

Colorful math reveals how forces transmit through granular materials
Using color-changing plastic cylinders as a stand-in for a mass of granular material, Duke University physicists have created a computer-testable method to predict, particle-by-particle, how pushes, nudges and shoves at the edges transmit across large assemblages.

Bioinformatics reveals new gene regulation system
By comparing 140 sequenced bacterial genomes, researchers have uncovered a system for regulating genes essential to bacterial replication - and they did it solely by computer keystrokes and mouse clicks.

Study shows how granular materials get themselves out of a jam
University of Chicago physicists have made careful measurements of flowing sand that can help resolve longstanding questions regarding how glasses differ from liquids at the atomic level, the scientists report in the Thursday, June 23 issue of the journal Nature.

Teacher's little helpers: Robots attend UCSD nursery school in research study
Humanoid robots RUBI and QRIO, both of whom are research platforms for advanced robotic technologies, are attending the Early Childhood Education Center at the University of California, San Diego as part of a long-term research study to investigate the uses of interactive computers in educational environments and to advance the field of real-time, social robotics.

Conservative surgery preserves fertility in women with borderline ovarian tumours
The largest study to-date on women with borderline ovarian tumours shows that fertility can be preserved if conservative surgery is used, a scientist reported at the 21st annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The true cost of computer crime
Attacks on computers and websites are increasing. It is widely known that attacking websites and networks prove costly for the businesses who own them.

Dust belt around nearby star clear sign of exoplanet
The young, bright southern star Fomalhaut is known to have an encircling debris disk, but does it have planets?

Researchers improve lung cancer survival rates
A Canadian national clinical trial has found that chemotherapy following surgery for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer significantly improves survival for the disease over just surgery alone.

Passion for technology: Three UH women honored
Repairing aneurysm-damaged arteries, analyzing computer code patterns and improving hardware imaging techniques earned three University of Houston women top honors from the Association for Women in Computing.

Scripps research scientists solve structure of a critical innate immune system protein
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have solved the structure of a crucial human immune system molecule called TLR3, an acronym for Toll-like receptor three.

MIT physicists create new form of matter
MIT scientists have brought a supercool end to a heated race among physicists: They have become the first to create a new type of matter, a gas of atoms that shows high-temperature superfluidity.

Runyon award goes to third Vanderbilt-Ingram scientist since 2002
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation has awarded its major clinical investigator award to a Vanderbilt physician-scientist for the third time since 2002.

Single cell recognition research at UCLA/Caltech finds a Halle Berry neuron
UCLA and Caltech researchers report in the upcoming edition of Nature that single brain cells are much more powerful than previously thought.

Survey shows that physicians are more religious than expected
The first study of physician religious beliefs has found that far more doctors believe in God and some sort of afterlife than anticipated.

Drugs for blood pressure and seizures among treatments recommended for essential tremor
Specific drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure and seizures can be beneficial in the treatment of essential tremor, according to the American Academy of Neurology in a new practice guideline.

NIAID scientists unveil mechanism behind resistance to severe malaria
Scientists have discovered why people with a specific type of hemoglobin -- the oxygen-carrying molecule that gives red blood cells their color -- are less prone to severe malaria.

'Hollow-face illusion' affects estimates of distance and reaching tasks
A person's prior knowledge of the geometry of faces affects his or her ability to estimate distance and complete visually guided reaching tasks according to a study published in the June issue of Journal of Vision, an online, free access publication of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

Jimmy Buffett hosts event to benefit NYU Child Study Center
On Friday, August 5, 2005 Jane and Jimmy Buffett, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff will host Picnic for ParentCorps to benefit the NYU Child Study Center.

Young athletes' post-concussion migraine may signal greater neurocognitive impairment
High school and college athletes with migraine headache characteristics after a concussion may have increased neurocognitive impairment, suggests a University of Pittsburgh Sports Medicine Concussion Program study published in the May issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Revealed: The true cost to the nation of multiple pregnancies
Research in France has revealed that triplet pregnancies cost more than eight times as much as singleton pregnancies, and twin pregnancies cost more than three times as much, according to a research presented at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Brain's own marijuana-like chemicals play key role with stress-induced pain relief
A marijuana-like chemical in the brain is responsible for suppressing pain caused by severe injury during stressful moments, according to UC Irvine researchers.

Plant pathologists address next steps in combating soybean rust
In response to the discovery of soybean rust in the U.S., plant pathologists are offering an opportunity to learn more about this disease at a symposium held during the annual meeting of The American Phytopathological Society (APS), July 30 - August 3, 2005 in Austin, TX.

Arthritis: What Wnt wrong?
The cellular signaling protein Wnt, which is involved in embryonic development and cancer, contributes to disease progression of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Study sheds light on the developmental origins of polycystic ovarian syndrome
New research suggests that the way baby girls develop in the womb may affect whether or not they develop polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)* as adults and the severity of the symptoms if they do.

Late peak may have prevented severe flu season from becoming worse
The 2004-2005 flu season was at least as severe as the 2003-2004 season, but peaked later according to a data from Solucient, a leading provider of healthcare information.

Value of IVF children to society outweighs their cost to healthcare systems
The potential benefit that IVF children bring to society far outweighs the cost of 'producing' them, a scientist said today (Wednesday 22 June 2005) at the 21st annual conference of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.

First high-tech incubator at a women's college says girls can do science
NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno (R) today announced $2.5 million in funding to create INVEST, an Incubator for Nanotechnology Ventures, Emerging Sciences, and Technologies, a joint nanotechnology incubator with Russell Sage College and Evident Technologies.

UF's record-setting new chip has potential for bioterrorism detection
Researchers have built a world-record high frequency chip using a common type of semiconductor, an advance that could lead to inexpensive systems for detecting hidden weapons, and chemical and biological agents.

Task force to develop national standards for ocean aquaculture
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announce the establishment of the Marine Aquaculture Task Force.

Cancer researcher Susan Horwitz wins Alpert prize for Taxol work
Susan Horwitz, Ph.D. of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will today be awarded the 17th annual Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for her seminal contributions to the understanding of how the antitumor agent Taxol inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

Deep sea algae connect ancient climate, carbon dioxide and vegetation
Mark Pagani in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and his colleagues mapped the first detailed history of atmospheric carbon dioxide between 45 - 25 million years ago based on stable isotopes of carbon.

Therapy may not be necessary for autoimmune hepatitis with no symptoms
It is not uncommon for patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), a disease in which the patient's own immune system attacks the liver, to have no symptoms.

From network to system
The Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have now officially established a

Researchers shed new light on cause of bedsores and other chronic wounds
New findings may help clinicians predict which wounds are likely to become chronic -- a key bit of information, since the sooner treatment is started, the better the outcome.

When it comes to cell entry, being average has its advantages
Mid-sized viruses, nanotubes and other bioparticles are more likely to get through receptors, or cellular gates, than smaller or bigger versions.

Ultra-fast camera captures how hummingbirds hover
Hummingbirds are masters of the air -- unique among birds for their ability to hover for long periods of time.

The making and breaking of microtubules
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have used cryo-electron microscopy to construct the first high-resolution images at the molecular level of the peculiar forms taken by transitional structures of tubulin during the assembly and disassembly of microtubules in the cell.

Field Museum gives prestigious Parker/Gentry Award to eminent New World ornithologist
The Field Museum will bestow its tenth annual Parker/Gentry Award on F.

Hummingbird flight an evolutionary marvel
Scientists announced today in the journal Nature that for the first time they can more fully explain how a hummingbird can hover. 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